Enough with ‘human-AI collaboration’

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Describing our interaction with Artificial Intelligence (AI) systems as ‘collaboration’ is well-intentioned, but flawed. Not only is it misleading, but it also takes away the credit of AI ‘labour’ from the humans behind it, and erases and obscures an often exploitative arrangement between AI producers and consumers. In this article, I explore how the AI … Continue reading Enough with ‘human-AI collaboration’

Look, no hands! Exploring data with your eyes

Can you imagine using a computer without a mouse, keyboard, or touchscreen? Why would we even need to do that? In this article, we will learn how virtual on-screen ‘lenses’ can be controlled using eye-tracking technology, to magnify and show additional details on charts. Using your eyes to control a computer has some unexpected challenges, … Continue reading Look, no hands! Exploring data with your eyes

Product design and the myth of faster horses

Product design often encounters a tension between solving observable customer needs (reactive design), and inventing novel experiences without concrete basis in current customer behaviour, but which designers believe will be valuable (proactive design). Both reactive and proactive design can produce successful results. However, the practical question remains: given that most product design teams have finite … Continue reading Product design and the myth of faster horses

Coding in natural language: let’s start small

The idea of writing a computer program by writing English (or another natural human language) is attractive because it might make coding easier and faster. This article tells the story of my encounter with natural language programming as a graduate student, and the small working system I built. I discuss the idea of context limiting: … Continue reading Coding in natural language: let’s start small

The fundamental value of the metaverse is sensory misdirection, not replication

The “metaverse” is the collective marketing term for a set of virtual reality media experiences. It is accessed using headsets such as the Oculus Quest, Valve Index, and HTC vive. It is often presented in marketing materials as newly enabling the digital replication of physical space, despite the fact that this has always been possible … Continue reading The fundamental value of the metaverse is sensory misdirection, not replication

How my online gaming addiction saved my Ph.D.

Or, how I cookie-clicked my way to a doctorate in interaction design. It’s been 5 years since I finished my Ph.D. on user interfaces for machine learning. To celebrate/commiserate, I’m sharing an unusual (if I may say so myself) grad school war story, the story of how sinking hundreds of hours into pointless online games … Continue reading How my online gaming addiction saved my Ph.D.

Revealing the hidden guesswork of spreadsheet comprehension

This article is based on the following publication [PDF]: Sruti Srinivasa Ragavan, Advait Sarkar, and Andrew D Gordon. 2021. Spreadsheet Comprehension: Guesswork, Giving Up and Going Back to the Author. Proceedings of the 2021 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems. Association for Computing Machinery, New York, NY, USA, Article 181, 1–21. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1145/3411764.3445634Continue reading Revealing the hidden guesswork of spreadsheet comprehension

The rise of parallel chat in online meetings: how can we make the most of it?

By Advait Sarkar and Sean Rintel. Originally published on the Microsoft Research Blog. “I’ll put a link to that doc in the chat” “Sorry, my internet is terrible, I’ll put my question in the chat” “That GIF from Amy in the chat is hilarious” If these phrases sound familiar to you, you’re not alone – … Continue reading The rise of parallel chat in online meetings: how can we make the most of it?