Although animals have been involved in machine interactions for a long time, their perspective has seldom driven the design of interactive technology intended for them and animal-computer interaction is yet to enter mainstream user-computer interaction research. ACI aims to fill this gap and, in so doing, expand the boundaries of user-computer interaction research.
Animal-Computer Interaction (ACI) aims to:
- study the interaction between animals and computing technology within the animals’ habitual contexts
- design interactive technology that can support animals in their habitual tasks or daily lives, and that can foster the relationship between humans and animals
- develop a user-centred approach to the design of technology that is intended for animal use.
ACI takes a non-speciesist approach to research and researchers have a responsibility to adhere to its ethical principles.
ACI’s benefits could include:
- enhancing our inter-species relationships with the animals we live or work with
- leading to further insights into animal cognition
- rendering conservation efforts more effective
- improving the economical and ethical sustainability of food production
- expanding the horizon of user-computer interaction research to the benefit of different groups of human as well as animal users.
Recent advances in both our understanding of animal cognition and computing technology make the development of ACI as a discipline both possible and timely, while pressing environmental, economic and cultural changes make it desirable.
An ACI Manifesto is published in ACM Interactions, 18(4), 2011. This blog presents extracts regarding the scientific aims, methodological approach, ethical principles and research agenda described in the Manifesto.
If you wish to show your support for the ACI agenda, please do so by posting your full name, discipline or specialism, and affiliation to the Signatures page.