Benefits

The development of ACI as a discipline could have many benefits for both animals and humans. For example, it could have important effects on our inter-species relationships by informing the design of technology that enables the animals we live and sometimes work with to effectively communicate with us, increase their participation in our interactions and constructively influence our environments, giving us a better understanding of those we share our lives with and the possibility to build safer, richer, longer and more productive relationships with them.
ACI could also lead to further insights into animal cognition, for example, by informing the design of interactive technology for behavioural studies that affords optimal usability and creative appropriation for the animals. Or it could support conservation efforts, for example, by informing the design of monitoring devices that produce minimal impact on the animals while maximising the quality and reliability of the data gathered through them.
Moreover, ACI could improve the economic and ethical sustainability of food production, for example, by informing the design of technology that affords farm animals more freedom and autonomy, enabling them to live less unnatural lives, reducing their stress levels and susceptibility to illness without recourse to drugs, increasing their productivity and improving the quality of their produce.
Finally, ACI could expand the horizon of user-computer interaction research by pushing our imagination beyond the boundaries of human-computer interaction. For example, it could help us discover new ways of eliciting requirements from those who cannot communicate with us through natural language or abstract conceptualisations. It could help us explore new modes of interaction for those who do not possess hands, cannot decipher the patterns emitted by a screen or have limited attention spans. Or it could help us find new ways of understanding and evaluating the impact of technology on individuals and social groups, perhaps shedding new light on issues such as identity, privacy or trust, and contributing to our understanding of what it means to be human and who we are in relation to other species.

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