Keywords: Animal-computer interaction, laboratory animals, animal welfare, captive animals, companion animals, conservation
Seventh International Conference on Animal-Computer Interaction
10-12 November 2020, Milton Keynes, United Kingdom
In co-operation with ACM (Association for Computing Machinery)
and SIGCHI (Special interest Group on Computer-Human Interaction)
ACI is the main International Conference on Animal-Computer Interaction. It is a highly multidisciplinary event drawing researchers and practitioners from the most diverse back grounds to share and discuss work and topics related to the research and design of interactive technology for and with animals. We are keen to be as inclusive as possible and wish to welcome a wide range of contributions and participants to the conference, in order to promote a constructive dialogue around the animal-centred research and design of computing-enabled systems, and to foster the development of ACI as a discipline.
This year’s conferene theme is Embodied Dialogues. On the one hand, the theme implicitly refers to the challenges and opportunities that arise when designing and developing interactive technology for and with users and participants who do not communicate through what we term ‘natural language’, which makes supporting embodied exchanges all the more important. On the other hand, the theme alludes to the possibilities open by technologies such as the Internet of Things and Artificial Intelligence, thanks to which computing applications are increasingly embedded into the infrastructures and objects of the physical environment in which multispecies agents operate and interact. Although specifically focussed, the theme is very broad in the connections that can be made from multiple angles, in order to encourage engagement with and contributions to the conference from a wide range of multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary perspectives. Submissions that relate to this year’s conference theme are especially welcome, but high quality submissions are welcome regardless.
The ACI2020 Conference Proceedings will be published in the ACM Digital Library. The Volume will include peer-reviewed and accepted full and short papers, videoposter and demo extended abstracts, workshop extended abstracts and doctoral consortium submissions.
This year the conference is hosted by The Open University (This link will take you to an external web site. We are not responsible for their content.), whose main campus is located in Milton Keynes, in the United Kingdom.
Sixth International Conference on Animal-Computer Interaction
12-14 November 2019, Haifa, Israel
ACI is the main International Conference on Animal-Computer Interaction. It is a highly multidisciplinary event drawing researchers and practitioners from the most diverse back grounds to share and discuss work and topics related to the research and design of interactive technology for and withanimals. We are keen to be as in clusive as possible and wish to welcome a wide range of contributions and participants to the conference, in order to promote a constructive dialogue around the animal-centred research and design of computing-enabled systems, and to foster the development of ACI as a discipline.
This year’s conference theme is Common Denominator, which implicitly refers to multidisciplinary or interdisciplinary methods, theories, designs, ethics or practices that could translate between or transfer across species to aid multispecies or interspecies communication, participation, interaction and cooperation with or through computing systems, during the design process or following deployment. Although specifically focussed, the theme is very broad in the connections that can be made from multiple angles, in order to encourage engagement with and contributions to the conference from a wide range of multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary perspectives.
This year the conference is hosted by the University of Haifa and takes place in one of Israel’s most beautiful and vibrant coastal cities.
To find out more visit: www.aciconf.org
4-6 December 2018, Atlanta, Georgia, USA
ACI is the main international conference on Animal-Computer Interaction, a rapidly growing field that focuses on the interaction between animals and computing-enabled technology.
Animals have been exposed to, and have interacted with, technology for the best part of a century; for example, in conservation studies, behavioural experiments, comparative cognition studies, precision farming and various support roles. But how does technology affect animals in their individual and social lives? How does it enable or disable their natural or learned behaviours? How does it influence their experience? And how does is impact upon their welfare?
At the crossroad between interaction design, on the one hand, and animal behavioural and welfare science, on the other, researchers have begun to address these questions, with a focus on the usability and experience of technology from the perspective of animal users, and on the design processes that inform animal-computer interactions, with a particular focus on:
- Studying and theorizing the interaction between animals and technology in naturalistic settings, with regards to specific animal activities or interspecies relations
- Developing user-centered technology that can: improve animals’ welfare by enabling the fulfillment of their needs; support animals in tasks humans might ask of them; foster interspecies relationships
- Informing interdisciplinary user-centered approaches that can enable animals to participate in the design process as legitimate stakeholders and contributors.
As a field of research and practice, ACI extends the study and design of interactions with computing systems to animals beyond humans, whilst still including humans themselves as members of the kingdom animalia. By taking a multispecies perspective, ACI acknowledges the evolutionary continuities existing between species, thus pushing the boundaries of interaction design in terms of participating agents, methods and applications.
This year, the conference theme is connectedness and well-being.
Journal of Multimodal Technologies and Interaction
Special issue on Multimodal Technologies in Animal-Computer Interaction
Guest editors: Dr. Naohisa Ohta, Dr. Clara Mancini, Dr. Jake Veasey
Deadline for manuscript submissions: 20 April 2018
Call for papers
Animals have been exposed to, and have interacted with, technology for the better part of a century; for example, in conservation activities, behavioural experiments, comparative cognition studies, precision farming, and in various support roles. At the crossroad between interaction design, on the one hand, and animal behavioural and welfare science, on the other, Animal-Computer Interaction (ACI) is a rapidly-growing field of research concerned with the interaction between animals and computing-enabled technology from an animal-centered perspective. Integrating a variety of multidisciplinary approaches, ACI aims to:
- Investigate the interaction between animals and technology in naturalistic settings, with regards to specific animal activities or interspecies relations
- Develop user-centered technology that can: Improve animals’ welfare by enabling the fulfillment of their needs; support animals in tasks humans might ask of them; foster interspecies relationships
- Inform interdisciplinary user-centered approaches that can enable animals to participate in the design process as legitimate stakeholders and contributors.
The purpose of this Special Issue is to bring together state-of-the-art research articles on the use and potential of multimedia and multimodal interfaces for animal-centred applications and interactions. These might aim to improve animal welfare, foster interspecies relationships or support the development of animal-centred research methods, in relation to laboratory, farm, companion or wild animals. We invite original research articles, works in progress, surveys, and reviews. Topics of interest include, but are not limited to:
- Animal Behavior and Multimodal Technology in ACI
- Interaction Multimodality Design for ACI
- Multisensory Technology for ACI
- Multimedia Technology for ACI
- Multimodal Design Solutions for ACI Applications
- Multimodal Technology as Methodological Tool in ACI
ACI is the leading international conference on Animal-Computer Interaction (ACI), a rapidly growing field that focuses on the interaction between animals and computing-enabled technology.
Animals have been exposed to and have interacted with technology for the best part of a century, in conservation studies, behavioural experiments, comparative cognition studies, precision farming and various support roles. But how does technology affect animals in their individual and social lives? How does it enable or disable their natural or learned behaviours? How does it influence their experience? And how does is impact upon their welfare? At the crossroad between interaction design and animal behaviour and welfare science, the emerging discipline of ACI focuses on:
– Studying the interaction between animals and technology in naturalistic settings, in relation to animal activities or interspecies relations
– Developing user-centered technology to improve animals’ welfare, support animals in their activities, foster interspecies relationships
– Informing interdisciplinary animal-centered approaches enabling animals to participate in and contribute to the design process.
This year, the conference theme is improving relations and contributions focus on the improvement of human-animal relations or relations between other animals. This concerns, for example, theories, methods or applications that have the potential to better support interspecies communication; to improve humans’ understanding of other animals, their characteristics and needs; to enable humans to take better care of other animals; to reduce interspecies conflicts and the impact of human activity on animals; to better supports animals in activities they do for humans; to help humans take better care of animals; to foster the development of ecologically and ethically more sustainable forms of interspecies interaction and cohabitation.
This IJHCS special issue on ACI capitalises on the momentum that ACI research has been gaining in recent years, to make a decisive step forward towards its academic establishment, and further support its development. To this end, we invite novel, high quality contributions that demonstrate a user-centered focus, and preferably (but not necessarily) present an engineering element, around any of the following questions:
Design. What interaction modalities might we need to develop in order to make technology accessible to other animals? How could we design for users with different sensorial apparatuses, cognitive capabilities, and ergonomic characteristics? How could appropriated multisensory interfaces and alternative interactional paradigms be explored and theorized? On the other hand, how could design solutions developed within ACI applications inform design within HCI?
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 could be called upon when we design with animals or investigate how technology affects them and their interactions with us? How could non-linguistic methodologies be adapted from HCI or derived from other disciplines? Conversely, how could more-than-human approaches developed within ACI contribute to HCI practices?
Theory: What are the main challenges that ACI researchers might encounter in conceptualizing the interaction between humans, animals and technology? How could we interpret the outcomes of applied studies, concrete designs and research practices to articulate such interactions? What existing theoretical frameworks from HCI, animal science, or other disciplines, might ACI theories draw from or contribute to?
Ethics. What might be legitimate technological applications for ACI? What implications does ACI’s animal-centered perspective have for conducting research that involves animal participants? What ethical frameworks might be most suitable to support the development of ACI? What might the relation between ethics and methodology be in ACI? And how could a reflection on ACI ethics influence ethical aspects of HCI research?
We welcome relevant submissions contributed from within any related discipline and describing work within diverse contexts. However, please be aware that IJHCS does not normally consider papers which describe military applications.
Submission Deadline: 30 June 2015
Final Paper Due: 31 December 2015
Clara Mancini, The Open University
Oskar Juhlin, Stockholm University
Shaun Lawson, University of Lincoln
Hosted by British HCI, the workshop will take place in Lincoln on the 13th of July 2015. The event will provide a forum for the Animal Computer Interaction (ACI) community to review and evaluate the current ACI research landscape and to identify and address themes that continue to emerge as this research field grows. We will examine the research from a multidisciplinary view and consider social, ethical challenges as well as various design applications.
Submissions (deadline 31st May) are welcome from a variety of disciplines, including but not limited to, ethology, animal biology, veterinary research, farming technology, animal behavior, human computer interaction, social computing. Submissions should include: (i) 2-4 page position papers in CHI ACM Extended Abstract Format; submission of both completed and in-progress work is encouraged (ii) additionally, we welcome 1 paragraph ‘expression of interests’ from researchers that have not yet conducted ACI work but are interested in integrating ACI applications, principles, or methodologies into their own research area.
To find out more, visit the workshop website: sites.google.com/site/acibhci2015/home
From the Open University’s Press Office:
A prototype of new technology to help specially trained dogs ‘sniff out’ the tell-tale signs of cancer in biological samples has been unveiled by The Open University (OU) at the 2014 Royal Society Summer Exhibition.
Researchers, headed up by Dr. Clara Mancini, at the Animal Computer Interaction (ACI) Lab at the OU in Milton Keynes, have worked with the charity Medical Detection Dogs to design the device which helps dogs to communicate whether cancer cells are present in biological samples. This process makes use of dogs’ incredibly sensitive sense of smell which is considerably keener than a human’s, and capable of detecting traces of volatile compounds given off by cancer cells.
Dogs detecting cancer usually do so by using a device that consists of a metal pad installed on top of a sample tube which the dog sniffs. If cancer cells are present, the dog then indicates this to its handler, perhaps by sitting. The ACI Lab has developed this device by embedding a special pressure pad to sense the level of pressure the dog exerts whilst sniffing. The level of pressure the dog exerts is recorded by a computer that is attached to the device, which in turn can indicate the level of confidence the dog has that cancer cells are present. Over time this data can be analysed to take into account a particular dog’s personality (i.e. whether it is more eager or more nervous affecting how strongly it touches the pad). The device is being tested on a range of cancers, including prostate cancer, currently a major killer of men in the UK. Researchers hope it could provide a more accurate early screening service to replace the current, notoriously unreliable, test for prostate cancer.
Dr Mancini, Head of the Animal Computer Interaction Lab at The Open University, said:
“Our work with Medical Detection Dogs offers a new, potentially life-saving method of improving cancer detection at an early stage without the need for invasive tests. If this prototype is successful, we could see this device in use within the next three years.”
The OU’s ACI team runs the world’s first systematic research programme to develop ‘user-centred’ technology for dogs and other animals. The team has also worked with the charity Dogs for the Disabled to develop prototype buttons which enable dogs to operate doors, lights or household appliances more easily by using their noses or paws. The team believes that these buttons not only make it easier for dogs to assist humans, they could also dramatically reduce the time needed to train assistance dogs as they can train with the set of buttons which can then be installed in the home, minimising the amount of relearning the dog has to do when it goes to a new home.
The work of Dr Mancini and colleagues at the ACI Lab will be on display at the Royal Society Summer Science Exhibition ‘Technology for Dogs’ exhibit which is presented by the OU in collaboration with University of Lincoln, Medical Detection Dogs and Dogs for the Disabled. Visitors to the exhibit will be able to watch dogs using the prototype technologies and find out more about new devices currently in progress such as a new diabetes alarm, also developed in partnership with Medical Detection Dogs. Visitors will also be able to attempt to perform tasks wearing special ‘doggy-vision’ goggles and boxing gloves imitating paws helping them better understand the challenges faced by working dogs.
The OU will also be exhibiting its work on the Rosetta space craft on the ‘Catch a Comet’ exhibit alongside Imperial College London, University College London and The University of Kent. Visitors to the stand will be able to discover what comets are made of via an interactive 3D comet sculpture and figure out what happens to a comet’s tail as it zooms past the Sun. The Royal Society’s annual Summer Science Exhibition opens to the public on Tuesday 1 July 2014.