Context Aware Computing: Understanding and Responding to Human Intention

Brad Myers   Ted Selker, MIT Media Lab

Seminar on People, Computers, and Design
Stanford University November 30, 2007

This talk will demonstrate that Artificial intelligence can competently Improve human interaction with systems and even each other in a myriad of natural scenarios.

Humans work to understand and react to each others intentions.  The context aware computing group at the MIT Media lab has demonstrated that across most aspects of our life, computers can do this too.  The groups demonstrations range from car to office kitchen to and even bed.  The goal is to show that human intentions can be recognized considered and responded to appropriately by computer systems.   Understanding and acting appropriately to intentions requires more than good sensors, it requires understanding of the value of the input.  The context aware demonstrations therefore rely completely on models of what the system can do, what the tasks are that can be performed and what is known about the user .  These models of system task and user form a central basis for deciding when and how to respond in a specific situation

Dr. Ted Selker is an Associate Professor at the MIT Media Laboratory, the Director of the Context Aware Computing Lab, co-director of the Caltech/MIT Voting Technology Project, and also of the Counter Intelligence/ Design Intelligence special interest group on product design of the future. His work strives to demonstrate that people’s intentions can be recognized and respected by the things we design. His work is recognized for creating demonstrations of a world in which people’s demonstration of desires causes computers to help them across natural and complex domains, such as kitchens, cars, email and voting. This work uses sensors and artificial intelligence in adaptive models of users’ systems and tasks to create keyboardless computers. Ted’s work takes the form of prototype concept products supported by cognitive science research. He particularly works to show how this approach helps product design to bridge communication gaps for technology and people. Ted’s work is also applied to developing and testing user experience technology and security architectures for recording voter intentions securely and accurately.

Prior to joining MIT faculty in November 1999, Ted was an IBM fellow and directed the User Systems Ergonomics Research lab. He has served as a consulting professor at Stanford University, taught at Hampshire, University of Massachusetts at Amherst and Brown Universities and worked at Xerox PARC and Atari Research Labs.

Ted's research has contributed to products ranging from notebook computers to operating systems. He is known for the design of the TrackPoint in-keyboard pointing device found in many notebook computers, as well as many other innovations at IBM. Ted’s work has resulted in numerous awards, patents, and papers and is often featured by the press. Ted was co-recipient of the Computer Science Policy Leader Award for Scientific American 50 in 2004 and the American Association For People with Disabilities Thomas Paine Award for his work on voting technology in 2006.

View this talk on line at CS547 on Stanford OnLine or using this video link.

Titles and abstracts for previous years are available by year and by speaker.