Human empowerment in self-adaptive socio-technical systems

Boltz, Nicholas; Getir Yaman, Sinem; Inverardi, Paola; Lemos, Rogério de; Van Landuyt, Dimitri and Zisman, Andrea (2024). Human empowerment in self-adaptive socio-technical systems. In: 19th International Conference on Software Engineering for Adaptive and Self-Managing Systems, 15-16 Apr 2024, Lisbon, Portugal.


Recent advances in generative AI and machine learning have stirred up fears about the unbridled adoption of autonomous, self-adaptive decision mechanisms in socio-technical systems. This vision paper explores the critical relationship between software-intensive systems and the empowerment of humans as individuals and society. We highlight the need for human empowerment within the context of self-adaptive socio-technical systems (SASTSs), which require mechanisms for balancing of diverse needs, values, and ethics on the individual, community, and societal levels. We propose an architecture comprised of Connector and Mediator elements, and third-party auditing, to support interactions and ensure preservation of human needs, values, and ethics. We use an example of Robot-Assisted A&E Triage system to motivate and illustrate our work and discuss some open challenges for future research.

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