emotive interaction design

26 Nov 2003 - 9:22am
10 years ago
3 replies
583 reads
Dave Malouf
2005

http://www.wired.com/wired/archive/11.12/love.html?tw=wn_tophead_4

MIT Media Lab is trying yet again to push the boundaries of human-computer
interaction and this time studying the emotive relationships between man and
machine ... What do people think about this direction of trying to create
emotional relationships thus anthropomorphizing the machine to an "equal" to
the user. Is this an inevitability? or is it truly sci-fi? Are there places
today where this already exists? There is the whole "agent" idea that seems
to have fallen out of favor due to technological limits, but as the limits
blur moving forward, would "agents" be resucitated?

-- dave
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Comments

26 Nov 2003 - 10:03am
Coryndon Luxmoore
2004

Dave,
I would have to say this exists today with many people. People will
respond to any sufficiently complex device like it was a "real"
creature. Mostly we see it in videos of people beating their PCs!

However this is an very important part of robotic research. The Japanese
are working hard to develop caretaker robots that monitor the human
beings health and may even benefit people by providing social
interaction. Also encouraging people to take care of the robots can be
beneficial to the development of robots who are programmed to learn from
their environment.

http://www.wired.com/news/technology/0,1282,59249,00.html
http://www.guardian.co.uk/online/story/0,3605,798746,00.html
http://edition.cnn.com/2003/TECH/ptech/11/20/comdex.bestof/index.html

I personally think it is ridiculous how unaware our PCs are of our
existence. They are deaf, dumb, and blind for the most part. They really
need some awareness of the users presence. Why should I have to login?
Why does it wait five min to turn on the screen saver after I have
gotten up? This would be easy to do today but is not considered
important by the powers that be yet.

This emotional connection inevitable as far as I can tell. But the
question that is out there is: will we hate it because they are so
irritating like our machines are today?

--CML

-----Original Message-----
From:
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[mailto:discuss-interactiondesigners.com-bounces at lists.interactiondesign
ers.com] On Behalf Of David Heller
Sent: Wednesday, November 26, 2003 9:23 AM
To: discuss at interactiondesigners.com
Subject: [ID Discuss] emotive interaction design

http://www.wired.com/wired/archive/11.12/love.html?tw=wn_tophead_4

MIT Media Lab is trying yet again to push the boundaries of
human-computer interaction and this time studying the emotive
relationships between man and machine ... What do people think about
this direction of trying to create emotional relationships thus
anthropomorphizing the machine to an "equal" to the user. Is this an
inevitability? or is it truly sci-fi? Are there places today where this
already exists? There is the whole "agent" idea that seems to have
fallen out of favor due to technological limits, but as the limits blur
moving forward, would "agents" be resucitated?

-- dave

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26 Nov 2003 - 2:23pm
Gino Zahnd
2003

MIT isn't the only group doing this. I worked at a company in Colorado
for a while that was doing a similar thing within current technology
limitations on the web. There are actually several companies that use
agents, and they're nearly 100% in the Customer Service space, as far
as I know. It seems that at least online, the target audience for
agents is novice users, who tend to be intimidated by the seeming
vastness of computers and the web. All of the projects we designed and
built were essentially turning "complex" interactions into
"conversations." There was even a very respectable amount of AI
involved - it didn't annoy the hell out people like other 'agents' -
such as MSFT clippy... "Hey, it looks like you're writing a letter!"
...

To answer your question, people have, from the beginning of the
commercialized web (and software), tried to create emotional
relationships between user and digital product - it's called branding.
But, to take it a step further - the whole basis of the research that
fueled the product I worked on is that people essentially treat
computers like other people.

The best example of this phenomenon that I've read is the Nass book,
'The Media Equation: How People Treat Computers, Television, and New
Media like Real People and Places'
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/1575860538/102-1716771-
6660143?vi=glance

The author's site:
http://www.stanford.edu/~nass/

--

So, I think for the groups of people who *want* to use this type of
interface to a machine, then sure, it's inevitable. People *want* to be
able to talk to their computers, and more so, people want to *sell*
stuff that listens and talks back - so people will keep tinkering at
it, and building new, faster, smarter affective/persuasive
technologies. It's just not there yet, in my opinion.

Agents won't be resuscitated. They're already out there in certain
environments. I think they'll become more visible as computers get
faster... but (foot in mouth) I won't be an early adopter... ;) I
hate computers that try to persuade me, and try to change what I do!
(See, people treat computers like other people...)

On Wednesday, November 26, 2003, at 06:22 AM, David Heller wrote:

> http://www.wired.com/wired/archive/11.12/love.html?tw=wn_tophead_4
>  
> MIT Media Lab is trying yet again to push the boundaries of
> human-computer interaction and this time studying the emotive
> relationships between man and machine ... What do people think about
> this direction of trying to create emotional relationships thus
> anthropomorphizing the machine to an "equal" to the user. Is this an
> inevitability? or is it truly sci-fi? Are there places today where
> this already exists? There is the whole "agent" idea that seems to
> have fallen out of favor due to technological limits, but as the
> limits blur moving forward, would "agents" be resucitated?
>  
> -- dave

1 Dec 2003 - 8:08pm
Janet M. Six
2003

Here's another example ... "The Man Who Mistook His Girlfriend for
a Robot"

http://www.popsci.com/popsci/science/article/0,12543,473054,00.html

Janet Six
Owner -- Lone Star Interface Design

Gino Zahnd wrote:

> MIT isn't the only group doing this. I worked at a company in
> Colorado for a while that was doing a similar thing within current
> technology limitations on the web. There are actually several
> companies that use agents, and they're nearly 100% in the Customer
> Service space, as far as I know. It seems that at least online, the
> target audience for agents is novice users, who tend to be
> intimidated by the seeming vastness of computers and the web. All of
> the projects we designed and built were essentially turning "complex"
> interactions into "conversations." There was even a very respectable
> amount of AI involved - it didn't annoy the hell out people like
> other 'agents' - such as MSFT clippy... "Hey, it looks like you're
> writing a letter!" ...
>
> To answer your question, people have, from the beginning of the
> commercialized web (and software), tried to create emotional
> relationships between user and digital product - it's called
> branding. But, to take it a step further - the whole basis of the
> research that fueled the product I worked on is that people
> essentially treat computers like other people.
>
> The best example of this phenomenon that I've read is the Nass book,
> 'The Media Equation: How People Treat Computers, Television, and New
> Media like Real People and Places'
> http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/1575860538/102-1716771-
> 6660143?vi=glance
>
> The author's site:
> http://www.stanford.edu/~nass/
>
> --
>
> So, I think for the groups of people who *want* to use this type of
> interface to a machine, then sure, it's inevitable. People *want* to
> be able to talk to their computers, and more so, people want to
> *sell* stuff that listens and talks back - so people will keep
> tinkering at it, and building new, faster, smarter
> affective/persuasive technologies. It's just not there yet, in my
> opinion.
>
> Agents won't be resuscitated. They're already out there in certain
> environments. I think they'll become more visible as computers get
> faster... but (foot in mouth) I won't be an early adopter... ;) I
> hate computers that try to persuade me, and try to change what I do!
> (See, people treat computers like other people...)
>
> On Wednesday, November 26, 2003, at 06:22 AM, David Heller wrote:
>
>> http://www.wired.com/wired/archive/11.12/love.html?tw=wn_tophead_4
>>
>> MIT Media Lab is trying yet again to push the boundaries of
>> human-computer interaction and this time studying the emotive
>> relationships between man and machine ... What do people think about
>> this direction of trying to create emotional relationships thus
>> anthropomorphizing the machine to an "equal" to the user. Is this an
>> inevitability? or is it truly sci-fi? Are there places today where
>> this already exists? There is the whole "agent" idea that seems to
>> have fallen out of favor due to technological limits, but as the
>> limits blur moving forward, would "agents" be resucitated?
>>
>> -- dave
>
>
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