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Culture of Embodied Skills in Human Computer Interaction

Summary:
The role of the computer in the world has evolved from specialised computing machines to information devices that pervade our daily lives. As research in Artificial Intelligence attempts to make computers more human, some approaches to human-computer interaction are becoming analogous to human-human interaction. In our attempts to integrate computers into our daily lives in the world, we take into account the embodied nature of our interactions with each other and object we manipulate. Phenomenological views on language and communication emphasise actions associated with our speech, which are ignored by pure natural language systems. Hubert Dreyfus divides our embodiment into three modes as described by Merleau-Ponty: innate structures, basic general skills, and cultural skills. In this paper, I will demonstrate how integrating a multiplicity of input channels leads to benefits in interactive efficiency and robustness, and I will also show that multimodal systems should take into account not only the user's thoughts but also the user's emotions. In this way, computers can hope to share some of the phenomenological experience of humans, bringing us closer together in a more intimate form of interaction. To deal with these issues, I apply the philosophy of technology approaches of North American philosophers Don Ihde and Robert Rosenberger to develop a phenomenology of relations between humans, computers and the world where technologies are seen as inherently non-neutral. This account of phenomenology is useful to highlight the importance of the habitual aspects and embodied skills of our everyday experience of the technologies.

Keywords:
body, computer technology, human-computer interaction, Ihde, Rosenberger

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