Lecture by Wendy Ju: Interaction Intelligence for Everyday Robots


Nottingham School of Art and Design, Bonington BON224 
March 20, 2024, 2-3.30PM


Nottingham School of Art and Design and the Design Research Centre are proud to welcome Associate Professor Wendy Ju from the Jacobs Technion-Cornell Institute at Cornell Tech and the Technion to give the next Research Lecture. 

Dr. Ju came to Cornell Tech from the Center for Design Research at Stanford University, where she was Executive Director of Interaction Design Research, and from the California College of the Arts, where she was an Associate Professor of Interaction Design in the Design MFA program. Her work in the areas of human-robot interaction and automated vehicle interfaces highlights the ways that interactive devices can communicate and engage people without interrupting or intruding. Dr. Ju has innovated numerous methods for early-stage prototyping of automated systems to understand how people will respond to systems before the systems are built. She has a PhD in Mechanical Engineering from Stanford, and a Master’s in Media Arts and Sciences from MIT. Her monograph on The Design of Implicit Interactions was published in 2015.

In her lecture, she will talk about how in everyday human interaction, people monitor each other to see if others understand their meaning, and they stop and self-correct if they recognize that they have made an error. As intelligent systems such as autonomous cars or delivery robots increasingly permeate our lives, it becomes important to think about these machines might recognize and recover from errors in the way that people expect. The design of interaction intelligence relies on an understanding of how people normally behave, and how they behave when something is out of the norm. I present recent work from my research group which considers how interaction intelligence can be as important as task intelligence for robots working around people.

The lecture will be given "remotely in person" at the Bonington building with snacks provided, as well as on Teams.

AI commentary in the press

Professor Lars Erik Holmquist has given a number of comments on AI in the press recently. This builds on his Inaugural Lecture Intelligence on Tap: Artificial Intelligence as a New Design Material, which was given at Nottingham Trent University on February 7, 2024 (a recording will be available soon). He previously wrote an article on the same subject for ACM SIGCHI's Interactions magazine (right), arguing that AI will become a vital design material for a new generation of digital products and services. 


First, he wrote a piece for The Conversation entitled Google’s Gemini AI hints at the next great leap for the technology: analysing real-time information. This article talks about how new AI models will move from generating text and images to understanding and acting upon real-time information, in the real world. A well-known example is self-driving cars, and we will also see new forms of AI assist us in the home, on travel, while shopping and so on. This provides amazing opportunities for new applications, but also gives rise to privacy issues.

Next, he provided some Predictions For Artificial Intelligence in 2024 for Techround. He predicts that this year we will see both specialisation and convergence of the data used by AI models. On the one hand, there will be many new startups and services that apply off-the-shelf models on highly specialised datasets, such as in-house sales figures or media production, to create tailor-made analysis and content creation - "AI in a box". On the other hand, we will see the major players such as Alphabet (Google) and Meta (Facebook) merge their enormous amounts of private user data - emails, habits, location and so on - and combine it with massive amounts of existing text and media to enable a new wave of even more personalised services (as well as another set of privacy implications!)

Finally, he was interviewed by tech journalist Rob Waugh for The Daily Mail in an article entitled Robotic priests, AI cults and a 'Bible' by ChatGPT: Why people around the world are worshipping robots and artificial intelligence. The article talks about how new religions seem to be forming around artififical intelligence and other forms of advanced technology. Professor Holmquist mentions how it is already known that humans tend to form relationships to technology as if they were dealing with other humans (something that is developed in the book The Media Equation by Stanford researchers Byron Reeves and Cliff Nass). Now, with highly advanced chatbots it is even easier to ascribe consciousness to machines - even if they do not have any. But perhaps this is not such a new behaviour after all, since in the Asian religion of Shintoism the physical world is inhabited by spirits and believers treat inanimate objects with respect, as if they are imbued with spirits?

One thing is for certain - the AI revolution is only beginning, and we will see many amazing new applications and ideas in 2024!

Seminar by Tor A. Bruce:The Future Design of Mental Health Environments

12:00 pm Thursday 9 November 2023, NEWN48 (Classroom), Newton Building, Nottingham Trent University.

Nottingham School of Art & Design and NTU NXT is happy to announce our Research Guest Lecture #1. 

Conventional mental healthcare interventions are typically delivered inside a room containing a table and seating, limiting user-autonomy that can be enhanced by offering a multisensory experience – purposely including the role of the body and interactive components of the setting itself.
This seminar is based on a research trajectory that began in 2018, resulting in a digital intervention involving a chronological journey from the deep past to future. Incorporating physical movement reimagines the therapeutic relationship between patient and facilitator, with potential to affect the dynamic of how interventions are delivered and received. Human-centred design thinking emerged which led to further prototypes 2018-2023, developing into a portfolio of four innovative concepts: The Timeline; The Intuitive Jacket; The WISE Room; The Reflection Chair.

 

In this seminar the research trajectory will be discussed and questions are welcomed throughout. The talk will highlight some of the challenges attendees might be able to solve as co-researchers through their own unique disciplines.
Tor Alexander Bruce
is an interdisciplinary researcher based between Human Computer Interaction and Health and Life Sciences at Northumbria University. His research explores pragmatic approaches to developing space in support of human flourishing, inclusive of technology, in a context of physiological healthcare. His research builds on 12 years engagement as Founder and CEO of a registered UK charity: Eye Of The Fly. His interest in working specifically with trauma stemmed from observations of and discussions with the charity’s young beneficiaries.

This lecture is open to all staff and students.

Contact: Professor Lars Erik Holmquist