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.