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Understanding animals: A critical challenge in ACI
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Computer and Systems Sciences.
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Computer and Systems Sciences.
2018 (English)In: NordiCHI '18 Proceedings of the 10th Nordic Conference on Human-Computer Interaction, Association for Computing Machinery (ACM), 2018, p. 148-160Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

We present a qualitative content analysis of visual-verbal social media posts, where ordinary dog owners pretend to be their canine, to identify meaningful facets in their dogs' life-worlds, e.g. pleasures of human-dog relation, dog-dog relations, food etc. We use this knowledge to inform design of "quantified pets". The study targets a general problem in Animal-Computer Interaction (ACI), i.e. to understand animals when designing "for" them, although lacking a common language. Several approaches, e.g. ethnography and participatory design, have been appropriated from HCI without exhausting the issue. We argue for a methodological creativity and pluralism by suggesting an additional approach drawing on "kinesthetic empathy". It implies to understand animals by empathizing with their bodily movements over time and decoding the realities of their life-worlds. This, and other related approaches, has inspired animal researchers to conduct more or less radical participant observations during extensive duration to understand the perspective of the other. We suggest that dog owners whom share their lives with their dogs already possess a similar understanding as these experts, and thus uphold important experiences of canine life that could be used to understand individual dogs and inspire design.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Association for Computing Machinery (ACM), 2018. p. 148-160
Keywords [en]
Animal-Computer Interaction, Quantified Pets, Dog Blogs, Social Media, Kinesthetic Empathy, Pet Dogs
National Category
Human Computer Interaction
Research subject
Man-Machine-Interaction (MMI)
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-163222DOI: 10.1145/3240167.3240226ISI: 000455775700014ISBN: 978-1-4503-6437-9 (electronic)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-163222DiVA, id: diva2:1271973
Conference
10th Nordic Conference on Human-Computer Interaction, Oslo, Norway, September 29 - October 03, 2018
Available from: 2018-12-18 Created: 2018-12-18 Last updated: 2020-05-29Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Unleashing Animal-Computer Interaction: A Theoretical Investigation of the “I” in ACI
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Unleashing Animal-Computer Interaction: A Theoretical Investigation of the “I” in ACI
2020 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Non-human animals have had a long co-existence and relationship with human culture and society, and we interact with them in a number of ways, and for various reasons. Their involvement in technology can be traced back more than half a century, initially restricted to scientific contexts, for example, for the study of animal behavior, cognition, or language learning abilities. The advancement and growing ubiquity of technology has extended their interactions with technology beyond scientific settings to other domains and everyday contexts, and for a broader set of reasons. This development is also driven by the emerging research area of animal-computer interaction (ACI), in which scholars of human-computer interaction (HCI) are starting to explore the possibilities of designing interactive technology for and with animals. This requires engagement with the difficult task of understanding this new set of actors and the types of interactions and functionality they possibly would like to have with computing. This is a challenge even when it comes to humans, but the challenge escalates when considering other animals, and presents even more challenges. Animals live different lives to us, and include a broad and diverse category of species, with different ways of experiencing and being in the world, and we have difficulty understanding each other due to these interspecies differences. The shift from human to animal interaction is far from straightforward.

This new and embryonic situation contests traditional notions of what a “user” is and can be, and how both digital technologies and other species, are being used. Consequently, it also challenges previous theoretical foundations and methods for understanding and designing user-computer interactions. The latter has received special attention, where user-centered design approaches and methods from the field of HCI and interaction design (IxD) has become a natural point of departure. As a complement, ACI needs a bolder and more creative way of progressing when it comes to building a theoretical framework to account for these new forms of interaction. There is a need to extend our thinking and the conventional ways of doing research and design, and to preserve curiosity and theoretical and methodological openness. As an alternative to many other design approaches, this thesis advocates the theoretical investigation of the “I” in ACI, aiming to extend the conventional notion of how interaction is conceptualized, a topic that has suffered from negligence. Drawing on ethnomethodological and ethnographic fieldwork – covering a maximum variation of extreme and deviant of cases – this thesis investigates the boundaries of the field and different theoretical perspectives and empirical insights, in order to increase our understanding of the emerging dynamics of multispecies-computer interactions, and also how these insights can excite the imagination and generate topics for zoocentric design and computing.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Department of Computer and Systems Sciences, Stockholm University, 2020. p. 152
Series
Report Series / Department of Computer & Systems Sciences, ISSN 1101-8526 ; No. 20-009
Keywords
Animal-Computer Interaction, Multispecies Ethnography, Theory, Theoretical Pluralism, Actor-Network Theory, Ethnomethodology, Rhetorics, Kinesthetic Empathy
National Category
Computer and Information Sciences
Research subject
Man-Machine-Interaction (MMI)
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-180974 (URN)978-91-7911-082-6 (ISBN)978-91-7911-083-3 (ISBN)
Public defence
2020-06-11, Endast online: https://stockholmuniversity.zoom.us/j/5073530222 (inte i Lilla hörsalen, NOD-huset, Borgarfjordsgatan 12, Kista), 13:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Note

At the time of the doctoral defense, the following paper was unpublished and had a status as follows: Paper 5: Manuscript.

Available from: 2020-05-18 Created: 2020-04-22 Last updated: 2020-05-26Bibliographically approved

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