Free-energy model of sense of agency for human-machine interface design based on comparator model

DS 122: Proceedings of the Design Society: 24th International Conference on Engineering Design (ICED23)

Year: 2023
Editor: Kevin Otto, Boris Eisenbart, Claudia Eckert, Benoit Eynard, Dieter Krause, Josef Oehmen, Nad
Author: Taniyama, Kensaku; Yanagisawa, Hideyoshi
Series: ICED
Institution: The University of Tokyo
Section: Design Methods
Page(s): 1945-1954
DOI number:


Sense of agency is the sense that one is causing an action. The increase in machine or system autonomy leads to an increase in the loss of sense of agency for the operation causing the loss of pleasure in the operation or sense of responsibility for the consequences of operations. Designing a sense of agency is necessary, especially in the context of machine autonomy. This calls for the control of the sense of agency, which requires the construction of a model to predict the sense of agency and establishing a design methodology to manipulate the factors of sense of agency. We propose the mathematical model that predicts the sense of agency in a human-machine system based on the comparator model and free-energy principle and what to design to enhance the sense of agency. Proposed model explains the effects of prediction error, prediction uncertainty, and observation uncertainty for body, machine, and environment feedback on the sense of agency. The model generally reveals the interaction effect between prediction error and prediction uncertainty and between prediction error and observation uncertainty. The model prediction can be widely applied as a design guide for enhancing sense of agency of human-machine interfaces.

Keywords: Design methodology, Sense of Agency, Mathematical model, Design for interfaces, Experience design

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