CHI 2021 Course
fabio.paterno at isti.cnr.it
The combination of the Internet of Things and Artificial Intelligence has made it possible to introduce numerous automations in our daily environments. Many new interesting possibilities and opportunities have been enabled, but there are also risks and problems. Often these problems are originated from approaches that have not been able to consider the users’ viewpoint sufficiently. We need to empower people in order to actually understand the automations in their surroundings environments, modify them, and create new ones, even if they have no programming knowledge.
The course discusses these problems and some possible solutions to provide people with the possibility to control and create their daily automations.
The main technological trends of recent years have been the Internet of Things and Artificial Intelligence. Their combination has made it possible to introduce numerous automations that can manifest themselves in different ways in our daily environments. Many new possibilities and opportunities have been created, but also risks and problems. Often these problems are originated from approaches that have not been able to consider the human point of view sufficiently. In particular, the user has often been considered as a passive element with respect to the new possibilities instead of being the central subject. People in their lives often have dynamic needs, which sometimes are originated from episodes, even unpredictable ones. The most effective automations are often the ones that can be dynamically customized and created to meet these changing and different needs that only the users know completely. Thus, we need to empower people in order to actually understand the automations active in their surrounding environments, modify them, and create new ones, even if they have no particular programming knowledge. In this perspective, I define “humanations” as automations that users can understand and modify. For such reasons it is of paramount importance that designers and developers be aware of such issues and of some possible solutions to provide people with the ability to control and create their daily automations. Thus, this course aims to allow attendees to gain knowledge and skills in addressing problems and solutions involved in end-user creation, control, monitoring, debugging automations that can be deployed in their daily environments (home, office, shops, …). It will provide a discussion of the possible solutions in terms of concepts, techniques, and tools, with particular attention to those supporting the trigger-action paradigm. The course will discuss how to enable people who are not professional developers to indicate the various dynamic events and conditions that can occur in their contexts of use (considering aspects related to user, technology, environment), and the possible associated actions.
The course is interesting for designers, developers, and researchers who want to understand the issues involved in introducing automations in daily environments, and the corresponding possible solutions that can empower end users in controlling, modifying and creating new ones. It also allows them to understand the relevant state of art in order to think about novel solutions in this area.
There is no particular prerequisite for attending the course. Some basic knowledge of Internet of Things technologies would make it easier to follow it, but all the relevant concepts will be introduced in such a way to be understandable also to those who are not familiar with them.
Fabio Paternò is Research Director at CNR-ISTI, where he founded and leads a laboratory on Human Interfaces in Information Systems. He was co-editor of the book on End User Development (1000+ citations on Google scholar), and the follow-up on New Perspectives in End User Development. He was one of the co-editors of a TOCHI special issue on End User Development for the Internet of Things. He is an ACM Distinguished Scientist and an ACM Distinguished Speaker. He has already given courses or tutorials at CHI, INTERACT, Mobile HCI; HCI International. He is the scientific coordinator of the AAL PETAL project and the PRIN EMPATHY project where the issues and solutions discussed in the course have been investigated.