Human-Automation Interaction

Spring 2021


This is a course about human-computer interaction in the age of automation

We are living in the age of automation, where artificial intelligence (AI) is integrated into apps and devices that are woven into our daily lives. Our dependency on automated systems such as expert systems, conversational agents, self-driving cars, and drones in daily tasks will increase in the near future, and will foster new forms of human-automation interaction.

In this course we will explore the following questions related to designing human-automation interaction, inluding: How can we design human-automation interactions, which are intuitive, and promote safety, transparency, trust, productivity and wellbeing? How can we design automated systems that promote equity and dignity? What impact will automation have on individuals, communities, and our global society?

About CS349H HAI

Learning Goals

The course aims to engage students with the theory and practice of novel human-computer interfaces.
Upon completing this course students will be able to:

  • Demonstrate understanding of the technical foundations underlying various automation technologies.
  • Apply guidelines for designing and evaluating human-automation interfaces, which promote safety, transparency, trust, productivity and wellbeing.
  • Explain how automation technologies could be used to address various global challenges.
  • Debate the promise and peril of automation for individuals, communities, and society.
  • Work effectively with a group of peers on a term project, using various collaboration tools.

Meet your instructors & tutors



Class Meetings

This is a synchronous online course. Our class will meet through the Zoom online conference system.

For everyone’s benefit, join the course in a quiet place, use earphones, turn on your video, mute your microphone unless you are speaking. We will adopt the same rules and norms as in a physical classroom: take notes, raise your hand to participate by asking and answering questions.

To protect your privacy, please follow these rules when using Zoom:

  • The instructor will email you a link to a zoom meeting and a password. Do not share this information with anyone.
  • In general, lectures and discussions will not be recorded.
  • When lectures will be recorded, students will be notified, both in the beginning of the lecture and in written notation on the course schedule.
  • Before turning on the camera be aware of people and items in the background. Before sharing your screen make sure you do not share private or sensitive information.


Tuesdays 1:00pm-3:45pm (EDT)


CS111, and at least one 200 or 300 level course from another department, which explores relevant issues (e.g. ANTH 232, AFR 213, ECON 229, ES 214, PHIL 222, SOC 320, CAMS 301, BIOC 324, POL1 303).


  • Socially responsible automation
  • Usability and transparency of AI-infused systems
  • Introduction to machine learning
  • Human bias in AI
  • Data, privacy, and invisible workers in AI
  • Human-computer interaction with highly automated vehicles
  • Designing and prototyping conversational agents
  • Promise and Peril of automation

Textbook, Readings, and Materials

We will be using videos, podcasts and research articles - all materials will be available online.

Course Requirements

The course requires active participation in class through discussion and hands-on activities. 
Students are required to prepare for class by completing the reading responses and engagement tasks prior to lecture.

The course has a final project that requires students to work in teams to research a topic at the intersection of automation and global development. 

Grading Policy

The course is manadory credit/non. If you receive a grade of c or higher in the course, a notation of CR (credit) will appear on your transcript; if you receive a grade lower than a c, then a notation of NCR (no credit) will appear on your transcript.

Your grade will be computed as a weighted average of several components. The relative weight of each component is shown below:

  • Class participation: 30%
  • Reading responses and engagement tasks: 30%
  • Group project: 40%
  • Total: 100%


Late Assignments

You are encouraged to submit assignments on the requested deadline but you may submit it up to 48h after the deadline (weekends and holidays counting in total as one 24h period). If you need extra time beyond this grace period, it is required that you contact the instructor and discuss a plan for completing the assignment. We will work together to make sure that plan is a reasonable and effective so that it supports both your learning and your health.


This course emphasizes collaboration, as working effectively within teams is an important part of the innovation culture. Working with a team provides you with opportunities to develop and improve interpersonal, communication, leadership, and follower-ship skills.

I strongly encourage you to get to know all of your classmates and to collaborate extensively with them. Because of the interdisciplinary nature of this course, you may be strong in some areas but weak in others. Please share your strengths, and feel free to ask others for help.

Here is a summary of the collaboration policy:

  • In-class activities and discussion: This class requires your active contribution during our time together. Please come to class prepared and ready to contribute to our learning community. During class you will work in group using breakout rooms and other online tools.
  • Project: Teams of 2-3 students will work together to complete and submit project milestones. You will be assigned to a team.
  • Reading responses and engagement tasks: no collaboration.


If you have a disability or condition, either long-term or temporary, and need reasonable academic adjustments in this course, please contact Disability Services to get a letter outlining your accommodation needs, and submit that letter to me. You should request accommodations as early as possible in the term, or before the term begins, since some situations can require significant time for review and accommodation design. If you need immediate accommodations, during the term, please arrange to meet with me as soon as possible. If you are unsure but suspect you may have an undocumented need for accommodations, you are encouraged to contact Disability Services. They can provide assistance including screening and referral for assessments. Disability Services can be reached at, at 781-283-2434, by scheduling an appointment online at their website

Computing Environment

We will primarily use the following platforms during the course: