"Man-Computer Symbiosis" Revisited: Achieving Natural Communication and Collaboration with Computers

Neal LESH  Joe MARKS  Charles RICH  Candace L. SIDNER  

IEICE TRANSACTIONS on Information and Systems   Vol.E87-D   No.6   pp.1290-1298
Publication Date: 2004/06/01
Online ISSN: 
Print ISSN: 0916-8532
Type of Manuscript: INVITED PAPER (Special Section on Human Communication I)
man-computer symbiosis,  human-computer interaction,  intelligent user interfaces,  interactive optimization,  natural-language processing,  discourse processing,  nonverbal communication,  

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In 1960, the famous computer pioneer J.C.R. Licklider described a vision for human-computer interaction that he called "man-computer symbiosis. " Licklider predicted the development of computer software that would allow people "to think in interaction with a computer in the same way that you think with a colleague whose competence supplements your own. " More than 40 years later, one rarely encounters any computer application that comes close to capturing Licklider's notion of human-like communication and collaboration. We echo Licklider by arguing that true symbiotic interaction requires at least the following three elements: a complementary and effective division of labor between human and machine; an explicit representation in the computer of the user's abilities, intentions, and beliefs; and the utilization of nonverbal communication modalities. We illustrate this argument with various research prototypes currently under development at Mitsubishi Electric Research Laboratories (USA).