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Human-Computer Interaction


Part 1: 
A Moving Target – The Evolution of Human-Computer Interaction

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In this
paper Jonathan Grudin covered major threads of research in four disciplines:
human factors, information system, computer science, library and information
science. CHI (computer-human Interaction) here has a narrower focus than
HCI. Cyclic patterns and cumulative
influences are evident. Convention of HCI is the Moore’s law, a law
which specifies the number of transistors on an integrated circuit, but it is
useful to consider the broader range of phenomena that exhibit exponential
growth. Narrowly defined, Moore’s law may soon be revoked, but broadly defined
this is unlikely. Advances in technology gave rise to two fields of research
that later contributed to human-computer interaction. One focused on making the
human use of tools more efficient, the other on ways to represent and
distribute information more effectively.

                 In 19th century,
Index cards, folders, and filing cabinets were used to manage and organize
information. Later typewriters and carbon paper were used to store information
followed by mimeograph machine. After a century, photography was also used to record
lots of information. Microfilm, the most “efficient way to compress, duplicate,
and disseminate large amount of information”. They are all of Human-Tool
Interaction and Information Processing for HCI.

 When ENIAC, the first general-purpose computer
was developed, memory was extremely expensive that time. At the time the major
focus of HCI research was Computer operation, management and systems analysis,
and programming. The main goal of man-computer symbiosis, a idea outlined by
Licklider, is to bring the computing machine efficiently into the formative
parts of technical problems. Engelbart’s concept of augmenting human intellect
was to increase human capability to approach complex problems and device
solutions to them. In mid 1960s, minicomputers that could handle personal productivity
tools or a moderate database were available. Few data-processing projects were started,
and HF and information science were emphasized. The psychologists and
computer scientists who formed the early CHI community believed that interface
design was a matter of science and engineering. Eventually, Computer scientists
were interested in CG and AI, which lead to the remarkable transformation of
HCI. SIGCHI was formed and well-received. HF & E embraced cognitive
approaches. Advent of GUI had mixed responses but it obviously attracted people
with its easiness. With the progress in LAN and internet, computers deployed
effective communication and information sharing. Early on, the Web had the more
dramatic effect on organizational IS. Gradually, CHI researchers’ focus shifted
to discretionary use of computers. Thus, HCI evolves every day.



More user-friendly and natural interfaces for
human-machine interaction will yield a plethora of advantages and will majorly
impact everyday life. They will, no doubt, offer the chance to improve the
quality of life of people who can’t take advantage of current interfaces due to
physical disabilities. Technologies like augmented reality could help people
have surreal experiences that they could never have in real life. All of the
incredibly surreal scenarios which could only be found in science fiction movies
earlier would become a reality in the future

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