Much attention is spent on the job-loss implications of introduction of automation to improve productivity. Meanwhile, automation is also used for job-preservation of older workers in outdated yet still essential practices, and this too has some unfortunate implications for the future. Eventually the simulation of an earlier age will fail catastrophically in the fact that that age no longer exists. Alternatively, eventually we will run out of older workers who can work in that simulation.
Automation is needed for the operations productivity, but it adds new labor burdens on humans whose incentive of self-protection from automation drives him to pay attention to the credibility of the sensors in terms of correspondence to what it is supposedly measuring. The problem might be solved by live streaming of sensor observations of physical world back to some operations control center where a small staff can monitor all currently operating systems. This would require a data network to handle the data traffic in an timely manner, but I believe this is the right solution if it is feasible. Such as center would validate each sensor’s information against all information about the aircraft’s environment, and they would have the means to directly initiate the process to remove the bad sensor and mitigate its subsequent absence. Such a system also would allow the periodic review of more detailed sensor data collected from all operations to find anomalies that would identify the misbehaving automation, flagging it for engineering or certification review.
These are just thoughts that occur to me, a person who has no knowledge about the current realities of the engineering and data collection within the airline industry, but a person who recognize the value of comprehensive data collection, storage, and retrieval from actual operation of advanced designed systems, especially those designs that rely heavily on computer automation and simulation.