Newcastle researcher-led team developing defences for the battleground of the future

Wednesday, 4 August 2021

A team of cognitive scientists, led by Dr Scott Brown and Dr Ami Eidels of the University of Newcastle’s School of Psychological Sciences, have received a grant of $756,538 over three years to help prepare Australia for the battleground of the future – cyberspace.

Closing laptop

Cybersecurity is a critical area of national defence and one in which bots play a central role, due to the sheer volume of malicious attacks that occur. Nonetheless, human intervention and leadership is still required and thus there is a need to develop robust human-bot teams.

This project combines the psychological expertise of cognitive scientists with the expertise of computer scientists. The team is investigating how best to develop trust between humans and bots, as well as ways to ensure the bots present the masses of data they accrue in a way that doesn’t overload human cognitive capacity.

A true cross-disciplinary investigation, Dr Brown’s team involves 16 researchers spread across three Australian universities, as well as four universities from the USA. Funded by the Australia-US Multidisciplinary University Research Initiative (AUSMURI), the team bring together expertise in cybersecurity, artificial intelligence, human-computer interaction, psychology, and decision sciences.

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The University of Newcastle acknowledges the traditional custodians of the lands within our footprint areas: Awabakal, Darkinjung, Biripai, Worimi, Wonnarua, and Eora Nations. We also pay respect to the wisdom of our Elders past and present.