ACI 2014: Pushing Boundaries Beyond ‘Human’

This Animal-Computer Interaction workshop is affiliated to NordiCHI’14 (8th Nordic Conference on Human-Computer Interaction, 26th to the 30th of October 2014) and takes place at the conference venue on the 27th October 2014.

While traditionally animal technology has been the concern of other disciplines, more recently the HCI community has begun to take a keen interest in computer interactions involving animals, particularly in the context of human-animal interactions, concomitantly with a growing market of various types of digital technologies aimed at animals and their humans.

An increasing body of work originating from within the HCI community is shaping the emerging discipline of Animal-Computer Interaction (ACI), aiming to: study the interaction between animals, technology and humans in naturalistic settings; develop user-centered technology that supports animals and interspecies relationships; inform user-centered approaches to the design of technology intended for animals.

The ACI’14 workshop aims to bring together researchers who have worked or are interested in ACI, from within HCI or other relevant disciplines. Through a range of collaborative activities (including short presentations, group design exercises and plenary discussions) the workshop will explore issues relevant to ACI.

We invite position papersup to four pages in ACM extended abstract format – on theories, applications and practices related, for example, to: interaction modalities for diverse sensorial apparatuses, cognitive capabilities, and ergonomic characteristics; methodologies potentially useful for researching, designing or evaluating multispecies technology; ethical frameworks and approaches possibly appropriate for working with human and other animals. Please, email submissions to:

Deadline for workshop papers: August 28, 2014
Notifications of acceptance: September 11, 2014
Workshop dates: October 27, 2014

Clara Mancini, The Open University
Oskar Juhlin, Stockholm University
Adrian David Cheock, City University London
Janet van der Linden, The Open University
Shaun Lawson, University of Lincoln

Adrian David Cheock, City University London
Oskar Juhlin, Stockholm University
Gerd Kortuem, The Open University
Shaun Lawson, University of Lincoln
Janet van der Linden, The Open University
Clara Mancini, The Open University
Helen Sharp, The Open University

9:15 – Welcome and introduction
9:30 – Presentations and questions
Participants share their work presentations (8 minutes) followed by questions (4 minutes).
1. Augmented collar for assistance dog
Germain Lemasson, Philippe Lucidarme, Sylvie Pesty, Dominique Duhaut
2. Assessment of Working Dog Suitability from Quantimetric Data
Joelle Alcaidinho, Giancarlo Valentin, Nate Yoder, Stephanie Tai, Paul Mundell, Melody Jackson
3. Re-Centering Practices: A Canine Interface for Cancer Detection
Clara Mancini, Rob Harris, Brendan Aengenheister, Claire Guest
4. Exploring the Use of Personas for Designing with Dogs
Charlotte Robinson, Clara Mancini, Janet van der Linden, Lydia Swanson, Claire Guest
5. Is My Dog Watching TV?
Ilyena HirskyjDouglas, Huilan Luo, Janet Read
10:30 – Coffee break
11:00 – Presentations and questions
Participants share their work presentations (8 minutes) followed by questions (4 minutes).
6. User-testing an Interspecies Videogame
Michelle Westerlaken, Alex Camilleri
7. Assessing Dog’s Experience in ACI
Heli Väätäjä
8. Towards an animal-centered ethics for Animal-Computer Interaction research
Clara Mancini
9. The Case for Inclusiveness in ACI
Giancarlo Valentin
10. Social Petworking: The Influence of Animals on Our Digital Narratives
Lisa Thomas, Andrew McNeill
12:00 – Lunch
13:00 – Design activity
Attendees divide in small groups and each group will be provided (on iPad or tablet) with a video scenario (e.g. a disability assistance dog using a domestic appliance) and a written design brief (e.g., designing a canine interface for that appliance) prepared by the organizers; scenarios and briefs are intended to help participants explore aspects related to key design activities (e.g. requirements elicitation, evaluation), allowing each group to reflect on specific issues emerging from their scenario.
14:30 – Design plenary
Groups share their reflections and ideas during a plenary discussion; these will be compiled for publication.
15:00 – Coffee break
15:30 – Planning activity
In smaller groups, participants take part in a ‘projection’ exercise, hypothetically organizing an ACI publication(e.g. online journal) or other research outlet; the purpose is to help participants identify concrete steps that could be taken to bring the discipline to that stage of development.
16:30 – Planning plenary
Participants come together again to discuss and produce a list of action points.
17:00 – Wrap up and conclusion
17:15 – Close

The prospect of developing ACI as a discipline raises a range of questions related to different themes, which the workshop activities are designed to begin to explore. These questions may relate (but are not limited) to:
Accessibility. What interaction modalities do we need to develop to make technology accessible to other animals? How can we design for users with different sensorial apparatuses, cognitive capabilities, and ergonomic characteristics? How can appropriated multisensory interfaces and alternative interactional paradigms be explored and theorized?
Methodology. What methodological frameworks could enable animals to actively participate in the design process as legitimate stakeholders, technology users and design contributors? How much of HCI methodological arsenal can be called upon when we design with animals or investigate how technology affects them and their interactions with us? How can non-linguistic methodologies be adapted from HCI or derived from other disciplines?
Ethics. What are legitimate technological applications for ACI? What implications does ACI’s animal-centered perspective have for conducting research that involves animal participants? What ethical frameworks are most suitable to support ACI and animals?
Politics. How could we establish an active ACI community, inform a well-defined research agenda and engage in activities that can promote its development? Could we organize follow-on events or start an online publication? How could we develop relevant interdisciplinary collaborations and partnerships?

2 Responses to ACI 2014: Pushing Boundaries Beyond ‘Human’

  1. Chad Wingrave says:

    Good luck all! Looks like a great workshop!

  2. hey, any idea when the program for this workshop will be posted? Excited too see 🙂

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