Distributed teamwork has become more common as technology enables groups of people  distributed over vast distances, with fewer opportunities for synchronous interaction to work together on complex tasks extended in time. This symposium will convene AI, HCI and social science researchers to identify challenges to developing intelligent systems for supporting human teamwork and multi-disciplinary approaches to overcoming them. Participants will consider ways to combine insights from AI research on complex, highly distributed artificial teams with results of HCI and social science investigations of human teams to enable the development of effective tools for supporting such teamwork in areas like healthcare, education and disaster relief.

Cross-disciplinary expertise  is essential for pushing forward the boundaries of systems for supporting distributed human teamwork. For example, systems might benefit from intelligent algorithms that reduce coordination overhead, but assumptions AI methods make for computer-agent environments often poorly match people’s capabilities. Integrating key ideas from social science and HCI research into the design of AI methods will enable the development of systems that address people’s core needs, adequately consider cultural and organizational factors, and make reasonable assumptions.

Planned activities:

Overviews of teamwork research, to provide an understanding of the diverse problems studied in each of social sciences, HCI, and AI; methods and theories; and main challenges to existing theories and methods.

Interdisciplinary working groups, to identify challenges in specific application domains, gaps between existing approaches and desired solutions, potential approaches within and across fields.

Short talks and poster presentations, from  accepted papers.

Looking forward: synthesize discussions and plan next activities (e.g., a website with cross-disciplinary resources, a vision paper).

Submissions to participate include a position paper and link to related published paper. Topics of interest include, but are not limited to the following:

  1. Novel teamwork problems, challenges and opportunities for cross-disciplinary approaches.

  2. Teamwork theories.

  3. Case-studies of (successful or failed) complex teamwork (with or without technology support).

  4. Representations, algorithms or interaction methods for teamwork support.

  5. Systems (design, implementation or deployment efforts) for supporting teamwork.

  6. Empirical testbeds.

Contact: Ofra Amir (oamir@seas.harvard.edu).

Organizing Committee: Ofra Amir (Harvard University), Krzysztof Gajos (Harvard University), Ya’akov (Kobi) Gal (Ben-Gurion University), Barbara Grosz (Harvard University), Jonathan Grudin (Microsoft Research), Robert Kraut (Carnegie Mellon University), Gary Olson (University of California, Irvine), Peter Stone (University of Texas, Austin).