Human Systems Integration, it’s time to take centre stage

There is an old engineering design joke, probably more a wry observation, that the most dangerous component to a motor vehicle is the nut holding the steering wheel. On its own, a motor vehicle is an inert, albeit highly complex, technological system. It takes people, also a highly complex sociotechnical system, to activate and apply its purpose. However, that purpose does not necessarily need to be part of its original design – a car can transport its occupants safely, efficiently, and comfortably, but it can also kill. As humans and technology converge, making sense of the resulting combined complexity is the focus of an interdisciplinary field called human systems integration, or HSI.

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