The First International Congress on Animal Human Computer Interaction

“Expanding boundaries beyond human”

November 11th, 2014 | Advances in Computer Entertainment (ACE) 2014, Funchal, Madeira

So far, mainly humans have benefited from internet communications...

Our aim is to allow animals to also benefit and be part of the 21st century age of internet, games and enabling technologies. Our research will bring about radical new methods and systems for internet communication between species.

The fundamental motivation of our research is to improve animal welfare. For example, a large percentage of dogs suffer from separation anxiety while being separated from their human companion masters during work or travel. Sport animals such as horses also are animals which can suffer from lack of contact with humans. Production animals such as pigs and cows, suffer from welfare problems related to the lack of interesting, exploratory, and vivid stimuli. This could be solved by offering suitable enrichment such as modifying the environment of the animals, and improving their animal welfare and biological functioning.

Digital technology is increasingly applied to support human-animal interaction, which is not so surprising given people’s strong relation to pets and nature [5]. There is also a growing market for various types of digital technologies to support Animal Human Computer Interaction. The commercial relevance of the emerging area can be seen in the many technologies marketed to canine owners. These consist of devices for training animals, taking care of them, as well as surveillance of them.

Our aim is to establish a new forum for research which invent and investigate how animals could be more extensively part of the 21st century age of internet, games and enabling technologies.

. Previous research on human-animal interaction contains technical research on species-appropriate computer-mediated interaction [2, 3] as well as studies on everyday interaction between humans and dogs. We hope the establishment of a conference on this topic which will bring about better understanding, radical new methods and systems for internet communication between species. Human-animal interaction is at best an emerging theme within human computer interaction. The research in this area has been limited, making it difficult to understand the experience of such new technologies and what to design next.

We aim to improve the understanding of the interaction between humans and animals. The relationship between human and non-human animals is a longstanding concern within anthropology and related disciplines, challenging distinctions between culture and nature, humans and non-humans [1, 5]. This include improving on humans’ concern for animals.

Within the HCI field, there are several systems oriented projects that investigate how to digitally enable interaction between humans and animals [2, 3, 4]. This research makes visible the specific challenges that need to be addressed when facing animal interaction capabilities, such as the inadequacy of text based interaction. The systems developed will need to investigate multi-sensory interaction and allow a large variation of our five senses, i.e. audition, vision, haptic, gustation, and olfaction, to be conveyed as mixed reality communication media between humans and animals.

The methods used are equally challenging and needs to be addressed. They need to account for uncertainties and complexities both in understanding humans and animals, and the type of novel system approaches.

In all, the animal human computer interaction conference intends to join emerging researchers in an area that promises to be fun, useful, vibrant and very surprising.

List of Topics

We welcome papers, notes, workshop papers in the following areas:

Theory

We are facing an area where the most fundamental part of the unit of analysis, i.e. the interaction in between animals and humans, is questionable. In what sense should we think about the activities we are studying as a form of interaction between people and animal?

Systems and Design

ICT tools and future enabling technologies to help address these issues with fundamentally new approaches and ideas to connect animals to humans and to other animals for companionship and telecommunication, anywhere in the world. Systems developed to be multi-sensory and allow all five senses (audition, vision, haptic, gustation, and olfaction) to be conveyed as mixed reality communication media between humans and animals. What scenarios and/or applications should drive the development of the ACI research field? What are the differences between animal-only and animal-human centered scenarios? Is the emphasis to be put on learning-oriented scenarios, i.e., to achieve a learning goal or on well-being oriented ones, i.e., to enhance animals quality of life?

Animal Werfare

An important motivation in this research is to improve animal welfare. For example, a large percentage of dogs suffer from separation anxiety while being separated from their human companion masters during work or travel. Sport animals such as horses also are animals which can suffer from lack of contact with humans. Production animals such as pigs and cows, suffer from welfare problems related to the lack of interesting, exploratory, and vivid stimuli. How can their situation be improved using new digital technology?

Methods

What methods are appropriate to understand animal human interaction as well as how to conduct design oriented research in this area? How are the methodological tool boxes and requirements in individual scientific domains, such as human computer interaction, psychology, sociology, anthropology, made us of in design oriented research? What methodological frameworks could enable animals to actively participate in the design process as legitimate stakeholders, technology users and design contributors? Can non-linguistic methodologies be adapted from HCI or derived from other disciplines? Can linguistic methodologies derived from other disciplines be adapted to ACI?

General Chairs

Professor Adrian Cheok

City University London

London, UK

Professor Oskar Juhlin

Mobile Life VinnExcellence Centre

Stockholm University, Sweden

Chairs


  • Clara Mancini
  • Jinyi Wang
  • Robert McGrath

Program Committee


  • Heli Väätäjä
  • Clara Mancini
  • Jinyi Wang
  • Javier Jaén Martínez
  • Robert McGrath
  • Charles Woodward
  • Heidi Lyn
  • Marius H. Braun
  • Gilang A. Pradana
  • Emma Yann Zhang

Schedule
Venue: ACE 2014 Room Selvagens III

Time Author Title
09:30 Heli Väätäjä Animal Welfare as a Design Goal in Technology Mediated Human-Animal Interaction - Opportunities with Haptics
10:00 Claire Micklin DogTracker: A Mobile App Engaging Citizens and Officials in Addressing the Stray Dog Crisis
10:30 Ilyena Hirskyj-Douglas and Janet C. Read Who Is Really In the Centre Of Dog Computer Interaction?
11:00 Patricia Pons, Javier Jaen and Alejandro Catala Animal Ludens: Building Intelligent Playful Environments for Animals
11:30 Sarah Ritvo and Robert Allison Challenges Related to Nonhuman Animal-Computer Interaction: Usability and ‘Liking’
12:00 Michelle Westerlaken and Stefano Gualeni Grounded Zoomorphism: an evaluation methodology for ACI design
12:30 PANEL DISCUSSION “Animal Human Computer Interaction – The Future”

Relevant Publications

1. French, F. Mancini, C., Smith, N., Sharp, H. (2014). Designing smart toys for the cognitive enrichment of elephants. Proceedings of the First Symposium on Intelligent Systems for Animal Welfare, ISAWEL’14, 50th convention on Artificial Intelligence and Simulation of Behaviour, AISB’14.

2. Kirksey, S.E. & Helmreich, S. 2010. The Emergence of Multispecies Ethnography. Cultural Anthropology, 25 (4): 545-576.

3. Lee, S. P. Cheok A. D., James T. K. S. 2006. A mobile pet wearable computer and mixed reality system for human-poultry interaction through the internet. In Personal and Ubiquitous Computing, 10: 301-317

4. Mancini, C. (2011). Animal-Computer Interaction (ACI): a Manifesto. ACM Interactions, 18(4), pp. 69-73.

5. Mankoff, D. Dey, A., Mankoff J. et al. 2005. Supporting interspecies social awareness: using peripheral displays for distributed pack awareness. In Proc. of UIST ‘05.

6. McGrath, R. E. 2009. Species-appropriate computer mediated interaction. In Proc. of CHI '09, Boston, USA.

7. Weilenmann, A. and Juhlin O. (2011). Understanding People and Animals: On Ordinary Human-Canine Interaction and the Use of a Positioning System in the Wild. In proc. of CHI 2011: 29th ACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, Vancouver, Canada, May 2011, ACM Press

Contact Us

animal@ace2014.info

This congress is a part of ACE (Advances in Computer Entertainment Technology) 2014 Conferences.