1. ACI aims to understand the interaction between animals and computing technology within the contexts in which animals habitually live, are active, and socialize with members of their own or other species, including humans. Contexts, activities, and relationships will differ considerably between species, and between wild, pet, working, farm, or laboratory animals. In each particular case, the interplay between animal, technology, and contextual elements is of interest to the ACI researcher.
2. ACI aims to inform the development of interactive technology to:
- Improve animals’ life expectancy and quality by facilitating the fulfilment of their physiological and psychological needs; technology that encourages healthy feeding habits in domestic animals or allows them to modify their housing conditions at leisure might be consistent with this aim; similarly, technology that contributes to the refinement of animal farming or animal research procedures reducing their potential harm to the individuals involved might be consistent with this aim.
- Support animals in carrying out their tasks and complying with the legal functions in which they are involved, by minimizing any negative effects and maximizing any positive effects of those functions on the animals’ life expectancy and quality; technology that gives farm animals control over the processes in which they are involved, produces only negligible side effects on the animals involved in conservation studies, or makes it easier for working animals to support and communicate with their assisted humans might be consistent with this aim.
- Foster the relationship between humans and other animals by enabling communication and promoting understanding between the two; technology that allows animals to play entertaining games with their human guardians or enables guardians, carers and researchers to understand and respond to the interests and emotions of their animals might be consistent with this aim.
3. ACI aims to develop a user-centred approach to the design of technology intended for animal use, informed by the best available knowledge of animals’ needs and preferences. It also appropriately regards animal users as legitimate stakeholders and design contributors throughout all the phases of the development process and beyond.