This term paper contains the research related to the application of the artificial intelligence on the human-computer interaction. It explains about the human-computer interaction and its origin. And also the present work and the future work of HCI.
Artificial Intelligence is a branch of the science which deals with helping machines finding solutions to complex problems in a more human-like fashion. It generally involves borrowing characteristics from the human intelligence, and applying them as algorithms in the computer friendly way. A more or less flexible or efficient approach can be taken depending on requirements established, which influences how artificial the intelligent behavior appears. We can also say that Artificial intelligence is an engineering and science of making intelligent machines and especially intelligent computer programs. The ability to create the intelligent machines has intrigued humans since the ancient times and today with the advent of the computer and many years of research into AI programming techniques, the dream of the smart machines is becoming a reality. Researchers are creating systems which can mimic the human thought, understand the speech, beat the best human chess player, and countless other feats never before possible. AI has been the subject of optimism, but it has also suffered many setbacks and, today, has become very essential part of the technology industry, providing the heavy lifting for many of the most difficult problems in the computer science. Artificial intelligence research is highly technical and specialized. It is deeply divided into the subfields that often fail to communicate with each other. These subfields have grown up around the particular institutions, the work of the individual researchers, the solution of the specific problems, longstanding differences of opinion about how Artificial intelligence should be done and application of widely differing tools. The central problems of Artificial intelligence includes such traits as reasoning, knowledge, planning, learning, communication, perception and the ability to move and manipulate objects. General intelligence is still among the field's long term goals. The potential applications of Artificial Intelligence are abundant. They stretch from the military for autonomous control and target identification, to the entertainment industry for computer games and robotic pets. It also deals with huge amounts of information such as hospitals, banks and insurances, which can use Artificial Intelligence to predict the customer behavior and detect the trends.
Human-computer interaction is study of interaction between the computers and users. It often regards as the intersection of computer science, design and several other fields of study. Interaction between the users and the computers occurs at the user interface, which includes both software and hardware. For example, the characters or the objects displayed by software on a personal computer's monitor, input received from users via hardware peripherals such as keyboards and mice, and other user interactions with large-scale computerized systems such as the aircraft and the power plants.
The rapidly developing field of Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) is helping redefine the design process for software, user interfaces, and computer systems. Over the last decade, it has been instrumental in the shift from a system centered design process to a user centered, or user involved design process. Many major universities now offer graduate and undergraduate degrees in HCI, and consequently there are new and exciting career opportunities awaiting the graduates of these programs. With roots in cognitive psychology, engineering, and human factors, HCI has become an important area of concentration in the field of Information Technology, and is fundamentally changing the world of computing as we know it.
HCI is a multidisciplinary field that focuses on analyzing, designing, and implementing software and computer systems with a concentration on the interaction between the users and the systems. It draws upon principles from many other fields, including computer science, ergonomics, psychology, and industrial design. The ultimate goal of HCI is to create software, systems, or interfaces that are useful, usable, and let users perform necessary actions and functions easily and with little analytical thought. A well designed interface or system can help users be more productive and effective at their jobs, and reduce time and stress while performing it.
There are many problem areas in HCI Human-computer interaction where Artificial intelligence can be applied. Human-computer interaction can benefit strongly from the formalism that Artificial intelligence offer, while AI may gain insights from richness of interaction in the HCI domain. Human-computer interaction HCI can also be a proving ground for testing concepts in Artificial intelligence; often systems will be implemented even though the cognitive and the formal bases are not fully developed.
Origins and Foundations
Although the field of Human-Computer Interaction did not truly emerge in its current form until the early 1980's, its roots can be traced back to the early part of the century. At the beginning of the 1900's, the main focus on machines and machinery was to get them to work properly. Little or no concern was paid to how the person running or operating the machine interacted with it. Subsequently, as companies learned that by focusing on this very interaction between the user and the machine, greater efficiency and productively could be achieved. The study of the relationship between machines and the operators eventually developed into a new field of study. This new field was called Human Factors Engineering, and it focused on the cognitive coupling between users and machines.
The field of Human Factors serves as the basic foundation for the newer field of Human-Computer Interaction. Also know as Ergonomics, Human Factors is the study of how humans behave physically and psychologically in relation to particular environments, products, or services. Most people working in this field have degrees or training in Psychology, and use this knowledge to help companies decide if new products will be accepted or deemed usable by consumers. Although usability, the degree to which a product is usable and useful, is a part of Human Factors, its general focus is more on the reactions and preferences to visual and other sensory stimuli. HCI draws upon these basic principles of Human Factors and applies them to the design and testing of computers and computers systems.
Psychology also plays an important role in the field of HCI. Psychology is the study of human behavior and mental processes. Psychologists focus on cognitive processes; how humans think, learn, remember, and reason. These areas are important areas of concentration in the design and implementation of interfaces and computer systems. HCI professionals are interested in users' mental models, their perception of a given concept or idea, and how they react to or comprehend analogies and metaphors. Many computers or software interfaces draw upon everyday objects or ideas and use them as metaphors, and it is important that these metaphors are relevant and understandable.
With the ultimate outcome of every HCI project being a tangible, usable product, the fields of Computer Science and Design also plays important roles in the field. Computer Science provides the abstractions, techniques, languages, and tools to address design issues, and subsequently produce the tangible product. Knowledge of which platform, software, or system the project will be built for is a major consideration during the design process.
HCI takes the basic concept of design and turns the focus toward the user as opposed to simply designing an applicable solution for the problem. Design can take many forms. A user-centered design process focuses on user and task analysis, designing for specific users and the tasks they are likely to perform. A participatory design process actually involves the users in the actual development of the product or software. An iterative design process utilizes a design-test-repeat cycle until the desired results are achieved. Most projects use one these design techniques, or a combination of several of them to meet the goals of the project.
Areas of Focus in HCI
When people think about the field of HCI, the most common association they make is in the area of usability. While there are many definitions for usability, the International Organization for Standardization provides the most complete and accepted one. The ISO defines usability as 'the effectiveness, efficiency, and satisfaction with which specified users achieve specified goals in particular environments.' Effectiveness is defined as the accuracy and completeness with which specified users can achieve specified goals in particular environments. Efficiency is defined as the resources expended in relation to the accuracy and completeness of goals achieved. Satisfaction is defined as the comfort and acceptability of the work system to its users and other people affected by its use.
Achieving the level of usability set forth by the ISO can be accomplished in part through various types of user testing. User testing can take many forms. Card sorting is a form of usability testing that takes place during the pre-design process. It involves having users sort and arrange stacks of cards into meaningful categories or hierarchies, and is used to help define navigation and nomenclature for a project. Scenario-Based testing involves presenting users with very specific situations, and then evaluating how they respond and act to and toward these situations. The most complete form of usability testing is the heuristic evaluation. This process lets users initially interact or navigate a system on their own and then provide feedback on their experience. They may then be asked to perform specific tasks (sometimes scenarios) to test the functionally of the entire system. The heuristic evaluation process is extremely effective in fleshing out problems or issues with the new system.
While usability is the umbrella concern of HCI, there are more specific design problems that are addresses, such as designing user interfaces. A user interface is what users actually see and interact with when using software or computer systems. It is the conduit between user and the underlying system software. Therefore, it must be designed from the start with users and their intended tasks in mind. No matter how well they are crafted, the interface will be a failure if the underlying system doesn't do what the user needs, in a way that the user finds appropriate. In other words, the system has to match the users' tasks. Once designed, interfaces are usually tested using the the heurisitc evaluation method.
There has never been a greater focus on the field of HCI than there is right now. The application of HCI principles over the last decade has led to better and more usable software and has been instrumental is turning the focus of software development toward the user and away from the system. HCI is playing a critical role in the context of the emerging Information Society, as citizens experience technology through their contact with the user interfaces of interactive products, applications and services. Therefore, it is important to ensure that user interfaces provide access and quality in use to all potential users, in all possible of contexts of use, and through a variety of technological platforms.
Many top universities now have HCI undergraduate and graduate degrees, and many of these schools also have established research labs that concentrate on the field of HCI. Those pursuing degrees in HCI will find various career opportunities waiting for them when they graduate. HCI students learn now to build and implement user interfaces, how to apply design principles to software creation, and how to test and refine software into user friendly products. Current jobs titles in the field include Usability Expert, Information Architect, and User Interface Designer. Usability Experts focus on the overall usability factor of a project or product. They may develop low and high fidelity prototypes, and conduct various types of usability testing. Information Architects structure content and data into a usable and meaningful format. User Interface Designers create, build, and test user interfaces with a focus on the interaction and usability of the software.
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Human computer interaction has many application types like Drawing programs, Text Editing, Spreadsheets, HyperText, Computer Aided Design (CAD), Video Games. There are also some upcoming areas like Gesture Recognition, Multi-Media, 3-D, Virtual Reality and "Augmented Reality", Computer Supported Cooperative Work, Natural language and speech. Few other examples of applications of multimodal systems are listed below:
â€¢ Smart Video Conferencing
â€¢ Intelligent Homes/Office
â€¢ Driver Monitoring
â€¢ Intelligent Games
â€¢ Helping People with Disabilities
The field of Human-Computer Interaction will continue to evolve as computers and technology as a whole evolve. The field of HCI will need to adapt to new types of technologies and interfaces, and respond to future advances in computing such as:
Decreasing hardware costs leading to larger memories and faster systems.
Miniaturization of hardware leading to portability.
Reduction in power requirements leading to portability.
New display technologies leading to the packaging of computational devices in new forms.
Assimilation of computation into the environment (e.g., VCRs, microwave ovens, televisions).
Specialized hardware leading to new functions (e.g., rapid text search).
Increased development of network communication and distributed computing.
Increasingly widespread use of computers, especially by people who are outside of the computing profession.
As new technology and software are released, HCI professionals will need to access and reaccess their usablity methods and practices to ensure the same degree of usability is achieved as it is with current tecnnology and software.
Human-Computer Interaction is an important part of systems design. Quality of system depends on how it is represented and used by users. Therefore, enormous amount of attention has been paid to better designs of HCI. Over the last decade Human-Computer Interaction has emerged as a valid and important field of study. Software, interfaces, and computer systems are being constantly improved due to the influence of HCI and HCI professionals.
They are becoming easier to use as a direct result of HCI design processes such as card sorting, participatory design, and heuristic evaluation. Universities are now offering degrees in HCI, and several of the leading schools also have research labs that are contacting working to make new gains in the field. With technology and computing making advances everyday, HCI will continue to be an important part of the software and technology development process.