Or a car computer that appreciates your driving skills and compensates for your limitations. That’s the world of Sandia National Laboratories Cognitive Science and Technology (CS&T) Program.

“It’s a revolution of the mind — of how people think and how machines can help them work better,” says Chris Forsythe, a member of the research team. Much of the program focuses on how individuals interact with others and machines. The program involves using machines to help humans perform more efficiently and embedding cognitive models in machines so they act more like people, thus taking advantage of the strengths of humans and machines while mitigating weaknesses.

In a training exercise, Sandia researcher Rob Abbott plays the role of a student driving a simulated amphibious-assault vehicle. A thermal image of a student’s face (background) helps to monitor the level of engagement and focus.