So called "cognitive assistants" are flourishing, but how to evaluate the benefit/cost ratio of introducing that technology into aeronautical operations? How far can cognitive assistant help operators such as pilots or mechanics at work? What impact can we expect on human-system performance? Our hypothesis is that cognitive assistants will be useful and accepted if and only if they implement a certain level of cognitive interaction with the human operator. First we question what kind of human cognitive functions can actually be supported to by a digital assistant to increase its performance at work. Then we propose a set of basic principles of cognitive interaction inspired by human sciences, e.g. cognitive philosophy and sciences of language. That definition is agnostic regarding technology. Our intention is to shape the evaluation and the specification of future cognitive assistants from a user perspective. Our purpose in this summit is to spark a discussion on the ambition and the feasibility of "natural" cognitive interaction between human operators and cognitive assistants.
Denys Bernard is an aeronautical engineer and doctor in Computer Sciences. He has relentlessly worked in research and development activities for decision support systems - both on board and on ground - particularly for aircraft maintenance. His main domains of interest are: diagnostic; planning; knowledge extraction and representation; decision making. He is now focused on the application of cognitive technologies as the foundation of virtual assistants for mechanics and cockpit crew.