Shared Control

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What Does Shared Control Mean?

Shared control is a system that uses both user control and an automation component. Human users interact with automated entities such as robots and artificial intelligence to work together to achieve a common goal. Unlike semi-automated systems that actually require human input or intervention, meaning the human still controls the actions or programming of the automatons, in a shared control system, the human and the robot or AI act as peers and can act independently from each other.

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Techopedia Explains Shared Control

Shared control, where a human controller shares control of an automated system with an automatic controller such as an AI, is considered a new paradigm in systems control engineering. They share control of the system with the human retaining manual control when required. The human controller may manually control the system while the automatic controller provides information and feedback that the human can then use, otherwise it can even apply full control to the system.

A good example of this is an airplane with fly-by-wire control systems. The fly-by-wire system micromanages controls of the plane in order to let the human to make the big decisions as to the direction of the flight. But to a large extent, the automated system is actually keeping the plane in the air. Without it, the pilot would need hundreds of adjustments to the controls just to keep the plane steady, taking away his attention from the bigger picture.

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Margaret Rouse
Technology Expert
Margaret Rouse
Technology Expert

Margaret is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical business audience. Over the past twenty years, her IT definitions have been published by Que in an encyclopedia of technology terms and cited in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine, and Discovery Magazine. She joined Techopedia in 2011. Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages.