I am looking for a word that would describe human to computer interaction with effect in the real world.

Like flight simulation describes unreal mirror of a real flight. But in case person sitting behind the computer would actually have an effect on the real flight but will never have a chance to sit behind the cockpit.

He/She must use some sort of human surrogate that will execute all the commands sent via computer network.

  • 10
    That's not simulation. It's remote piloting. Or (more generally) remote control or teleoperation. Commented Aug 10, 2015 at 10:11
  • how would you call controlling group of workers i.e. builders that will execute commands you provide via computer software ? remote building or telebuilding ? I am looking for very general term that would fit into number of scenarios
    – m1k3y02
    Commented Aug 10, 2015 at 13:57
  • @m1k3y02 Your two scenarios don't seem to be comparable. I think you're looking for the more general term describing off-site management in your second example. The difference between directing the construction of a building and navigating a drone is using proxies and direct input. In construction, you give instructions to people (who have free will), whereas in flying a drone, you are directly manipulating the input (and the drone does exactly as you say).
    – VampDuc
    Commented Aug 10, 2015 at 14:22
  • 2
    @PeterShor I think your remote control is a clear answer. Why not post it with a definition and link, and let the community indicate to the OP whether it fits.
    – bib
    Commented Aug 10, 2015 at 14:37
  • @bib: Actually, reading the question more carefully, the last sentence says "He/she must use some sort of human surrogate ...". So what is being asked for may be some sort of remote instruction-giving. Commented Aug 11, 2015 at 2:14

2 Answers 2


While there isn't exactly a word for that exact thing currently, you could use "Proxying"

The OED has the definition of a proxy as "[count noun] A person authorized to act on behalf of another."

In computing terms a "proxy" is a machine that relays messages to different computers over the internet.

  • Can you add a link to the dictionary definition? That'd be nice.
    – NVZ
    Commented Apr 1, 2016 at 4:01

Try teleoperation. Wikipedia's entry describes it as:

Teleoperation indicates operation of a machine at a distance. It is similar in meaning to the phrase "remote control" but is usually encountered in research, academic and technical environments. It is most commonly associated with robotics and mobile robots but can be applied to a whole range of circumstances in which a device or machine is operated by a person from a distance. - wikipedia

Here's a more succinct dictionary entry:

Teleoperation mass noun The electronic remote control of machines. - ODO

The complement to teleoperation is telepresence, which is technology for making someone feel embedded in a different physical reality.

The combination of teleoperation with telepresence gives rise to the field of telerobotocs.

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