AI and HCI: Two Fields Divided by a Common Focus
Keywords:history, usable AI
Although AI and HCI explore computing and intelligent behavior and the fields have seen some cross-over, until recently there was not very much. This article outlines a history of the fields that identifies some of the forces that kept the fields at arm’s length. AI was generally marked by a very ambitious, long-term vision requiring expensive systems, although the term was rarely envisioned as being as long as it proved to be, whereas HCI focused more on innovation and improvement of widely-used hardware within a short time-scale. These differences led to different priorities, methods, and assessment approaches. A consequence was competition for resources, with HCI flourishing in AI winters and moving more slowly when AI was in favor. The situation today is much more promising, in part because of platform convergence: AI can be exploited on widely-used systems.
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