Human Computer Interaction is already the unusual subfield of computer science, but it gets even better! Research methods can reach far beyond quantitative and qualitative, and even become More Than Human. With the advent of technology that requires a whole subgenre to make it ‘explainable’, how can we re-establish the ‘human’ in HCI, and even have a little fun along the way… Join me for a short journey on unusual research methods, creativity, and how we can design for objects and a future that does not yet exist.
Miriam Sturdee is a lecturer at the University of St Andrews in the School of Computer Science. Her interests lie at the intersection between computing and the arts, and is especially interested in how arts based approaches can inform technical fields within STEM, with a particular focus on novel technologies such as shape-changing interfaces. She has chaired conference tracks for Pictorials, looking at visual and process based approaches to knowledge production, and is currently a member of the SIGCHI Futuring Committee. She has an MA in Psychology from University of Edinburgh, an MFA in Visual Communication from Edinburgh College of Art, and an MRes and PhD in Digital Innovation from Lancaster University. Also, Sketching in HCI – The Book coming in May 2024!
It is hard to go a day without a new story about AI. Some are positive, such as potential treatments for disease, some negative such as the discriminatory bias in many automated algorithms. We are told that AI can create new jobs as well as replace old ones, but it is unclear whether AI will replace drudgery or just leave this to humans. We are at a time of unprecedented opportunity and threat and sadly the tendency for technological advance is rarely to improve social justice. It is therefore more important than ever that those in academia and the third sector do the things that will not naturally happen as a result of market economics. Part of this is about developing new applications that ameliorate the negative impacts of technology or achieve positive new things to improve the human condition. Part of this is about fundamental AI development, as the trend towards larger and larger AI has both environmental impact and reduces access to AI for all but the richest organisations and countries. If we want AI to enable a more just society, we have to work to achieve this.
Alan Dix is Director of the Computational Foundry, Swansea University and Professorial Fellow at Cardiff Metropolitan University. He is known principally for his work in human–computer interaction including writing one of the key textbooks in the area. He was elected to the ACM SIGCHI Academy in 2013 and is a Fellow of the Learned Society of Wales. Outside academia, Alan has been co-founder of two tech companies, developed intelligent lighting, worked in local government and even submarine design.
In every role, he seeks to understand and innovate in all aspects where people and technology meet. His interests range from formal methods to design creativity, including some of the earliest papers in the HCI literature on privacy and mobile interaction, and in the early 1990s he was one of the first to recognise the potential dangers of gender, ethnic and social bias in black-box machine learning systems. In 2020 he completed a book “Statistics for HCI: Making Sense of Quantitative Data” and his online creativity course was released at interaction-design.org. In 2022 his new book on the design of physical-digital products, “TouchIT: Understanding Design in a Physical-Digital World”, was published by Oxford University Press and a heavily revised second edition of his AI textbook subtitled “humans at the heart” will be published by Taylor and France/CRC later this year. He is currently finishing several books on AI and HCI and (with Clara Crivellaro from OpenLab) AI and Social Justice.
For ten years Alan lived on Tiree, a small Scottish island where he ran Tiree Tech Wave, a biannual event allowing designers and technologists to meet and work alongside the local community. While he was there, in 2013, he ventured off-island to walk one thousand miles around Wales, partly a research expedition and partly a personal pilgrimage to the land of his birth. Alan returned to his homeland to take up a new role as Director of Computational Foundry; a £32.5M project of Swansea University, Welsh Government, and the European Commission to promote ground-breaking digital research with a real impact on society. He also works at Cardiff Metropolitan University encouraging and nurturing research and practical impact across all subjects and areas.
- Date: February 1st, 2024
- Time: 13:30-15:00 (GMT)
- Location: In Person (Northumbria University) and Online
- Registration: https://forms.office.com/e/HVYH1DBpdd