Towards a Pluralistic Epistemology: Understanding Human-Technology Interactions in Shipping from Psychological, Sociological and Ecological Perspectives
Journal article, 2018
In the shipping domain, many innovative technical systems have been designed and developed in the past decades, aiming to enable the maritime users to achieve the goal of safety, efficiency and effectiveness. The introduction of advanced technologies into workplaces have also created unprecedented challenges. Human users frequently find themselves in a supporting role to serve technology, being responsible for automation issues and blamed for "human errors" that sometimes result in tragic results. These challenges are closely associated with the design and use of technologies. Human-technology interactions has become an important multidisciplinary research topic for shipping. This article reviews theoretical concepts relative to the dimensions of psychology, sociology and ecology in Human Computer Interaction (HCI) in order to form a deeper understanding of human-technology interactions. This paper also discusses the theoretical constructs' practical relevance by showing how a few cases exemplifying ongoing development sectors in shipping, such as energy efficiency optimisation, supervisory control of autonomous unmanned ships, and eco-systems in engine control rooms, are understood with these theoretical perspectives. By presenting multidisciplinary understandings of human-technology interaction, this paper aims to derive knowledge pertinent to methodological approaches and philosophical stances of future maritime human factors and HCI research.