HCI International 2017
Vancouver, Canada, 9 - 14 July 2017
Vancouver Convention Centre
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T11: User Interaction with Intelligent Systems

Monday, 10 July 2017, 13:30 – 17:30

Martin Maguire (short bio)
Design School, Loughborough University, United Kingdom


The aim of this tutorial will be to give delegates an appreciation of artificial intelligence (AI) or 'smartness' within computer systems and provide an understanding of how this can affect user interaction with such systems. The session aims to highlight design issues for user interfaces to smart systems and will offer design principles for how they can operate as effective partners for users. The session will include examples and exercises to promote thinking about how smart systems can be implemented effectively in the real world.

Content and benefits

The tutorial will pose the question of what smart systems are and how they work? It will present some basic ideas that underlie AI such as Bayes Theory, neural networks and machine learning, giving examples to illustrate them.

Work on increasing the interaction quality with artificial entities has reached the stage where they can fit quite well into specific application scenarios. However, with smart systems and robots entering our everyday lives, such applications will require more initiative and flexibility from the agent, i.e. more autonomy, which can also mean that the interaction will become less predictable. The idea of levels of autonomy will be introduced e.g. within autonomous vehicles and smart homes, and their implications for human use.

The session will offer design principles related to smart systems such as building trust, transparency and task allocation, which could be applied in the creation of effective interfaces to AI-based systems.

During the session, delegates will be presented with a scenario of managing a developing emergency situation but assisted by an AI system, as a way to think about how people might react to the advice given and the implications of employing it.

A design exercise will also be set to consider a particular scenario such as the development a medical diagnosis assistant for a general practitioner and how it could fit into the context of a doctor meeting with a patient.

Consideration will be given to embodied intelligence in the form of robots deployed in the home, as office assistants, on assembly lines, and as pets, and how embodiment affects user interaction.

The presentation will reference the internet of things and discuss with the audience what a future world might be like in a sensor saturated environment or how people might feel seeing robots as autonomous beings roaming free in everyday life.

The intended benefits of the course will be:

  • To give delegates an appreciation of how smart functions may affect a user’s interaction with a system.
  • To understand the implications of providing a smart system with different levels of autonomy.
  • To learn design principles applicable to the design of smart systems.
  • To identify topics for future research
  • To share the ideas and experiences of delegates who have worked in the area of smart system design.

Target Audience:

The tutorial will run for half a day. It will not assume any technical knowledge and is intended for designers, human factors personal and HCI researchers interested in the design of smart systems. It will only cover AI systems at an introductory level so may be less suitable for those who are specialists in this area.

Bio Sketch of Presenter:

Martin Maguire has a background in computer studies and ergonomics. His interests are in the usability and accessibility of interactive system, the use of IT in health, information design and intelligence within interactive systems. He has been involved in several EU projects to develop human factors tools, methods and guidelines to promote usability within European IT programmes. He has conducted usability appraisals of IT and web-based systems for many organisations in the UK public and private sectors. Within the Design School at Loughborough University he teaches HCI and user-experience design.


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