affective_computing

Chapter twelve of the interaction-design.org resource is now available in preview. It deals with what HCI specialists call ‘affective computing’ and was written by Kristina Höök, professor in Human-Machine Interaction at Stockholm University.

As Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) and Interaction Design moved from designing and evaluating work-oriented applications towards dealing with leisure-oriented applications, such as games, social computing, art, and tools for creativity, we have had to consider e.g. what constitutes an experience, how to deal with users’ emotions, and understanding aesthetic practices and experiences.

The author describes three strands of affective computing: 1. Affective computing (based on cognition, and the most widely known); 2. Affective interaction (coming from a more culture-based angle); and 3. Technology as experience (arguably more art-based).

The different angles show projects that range from helping people with autism to creating text messages with emotion-related colours.

She finishes with a caution that with affective computing “we may easily cross the thin line from persuasion to coercion, creating for technological control of our behavior and bodies.” Her example is a parody fitness app ”I’m sorry, Dave, you shouldn’t eat that. Dave, you know I don’t like it when you eat donuts” just as you are about to grab a donut.”, but she could be talking about the XKCD take on Facebook suggestions as well.

(via Johnny Holland)

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