Clara Mancini, a colleague of mine at the Open University, recently published a Manifesto on "Animal-Computer Interaction" (ACI). The manifesto describes the scientific aims, methodological approach and ethical principles of ACI and proposes a research agenda for its systematic development.
What is ACI? A quote from the abstract:
"Although we have involved animals in machine and computer interactions for a long time, their perspective has seldom driven the design of interactive technology meant for them and animal-computer interaction is yet to enter mainstream user-computer interaction research. This lack of animal perspective can have negative effects on animal users and on the purposes for which animal technology is developed. Not only could an Animal-Computer Interaction (ACI) agenda mitigate those effects, it could also yield multiple benefits, by enhancing our inter-species relationships with the animals we live or work with, leading to further insights into animal cognition, rendering conservation efforts more effective, improving the economical and ethical sustainability of food production, expanding the horizon of user-computer interaction research altogether and benefiting different groups of human users too." Advances in both our understanding of animal cognition and computing technology make the development of ACI as a discipline both possible and timely, while pressing environmental, economic and cultural changes make it desirable. But what exactly is ACI about and how could we develop such a discipline? This Manifesto describes the scientific aims, methodological approach and ethical principles of ACI and proposes a research agenda for its systematic development."
Check it out and let me know what you think about ACI.
Mancini, Clara (2011). Animal-Computer Interaction (ACI): a manifesto. Interactions, 18(4), available at http://oro.open.ac.uk/28857/