How Human is Human-Computer Interaction?
   Anthropomorphic Interfaces and Social Responses to Computers

Clifford Nass
Department of Communication, Stanford University

Seminar on People, Computers, and Design
Stanford University October 29, 1999

In a series of studies summarized in The Media Equation (1996), my colleagues and I demonstrated that many responses to text-based interfaces were consistent with the social-psychological literature. That is, users applied the same rules and expectations toward text-based computers that they applied toward people. In the present talk, I will discuss our extensions of the research in three ways: 1) comparison of HCI to CMC rather than the psych. literature; 2) use of voice and character interfaces rather than text; 3) richer behavioral responses. I will discuss recent research concerning humor, self-disclosure, text-to-speech and personality, ethnicity, character appearance, reciprocity, adaptation, and emotion.

Clifford Nass is an associate professor of communication at Stanford University, with courtesy appointments in Science, Technology, and Society, Sociology, and Symbolic System. He is co-director of the Interface Lab at the Center for the Study of Language and Information at Stanford University. Nass is co-author of The Media Equation: How People Treat Computers, Television, and New Media Like Real People and Places and over 40 articles on human-technology interaction and statistical methodology. He has consulted on the design of over 100 media products, for companies such as Microsoft, Hewlett-Packard, General Magic, Netsage, British Cable and Wireless, and OMRON.


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