MISC Talk: Bob Kummerfeld

Tue, 06/11/2019 - 12:00pm

Ehrlicher Room, North Quad

Simple Specialised Sisyphean Situated Ambient Loggers

We all have many things we intend to do each day towards long-term health and well-being - activities like exercise, eating vegetables, tooth flossing, taking medication, taking regular breaks from desk work. We call these tasks "Sisyphean" because we need to do them every day, just like the mythical Sisyphus, who had to push a stone to the top of a hill each day, only to have it roll down again. 

In this talk I will describe the core ideas for SALs, Simple, Specialised, Sisyphean, Situated and Ambient Loggers, show examples of several that we have built, explain their design rationale, implementation and results of field trials of their use. SALs are devices that people can situate in the place where they can serve as an ambient reminder to help them remember to do particular Sisyphean tasks, log them and track their daily progress. Simplicity is a core requirement for the interface so that a glance or peripheral view is enough to help people remember the tasks and the logging is very quick and easy.

The talk will report experiences in tackling the design challenges for an unobtrusive but effective SAL interface as well as the architecture of the whole system, based on Personis, a personal, long-term user modelling system.  I will also discuss a new view of the notion of ambience, both for situated and mobile devices. The key contributions of this work are for a new form of light-weight and situated device that helps people achieve their long term goals that demand daily Sisyphean tasks.

Speaker Bio

Bob Kummerfeld is Affiliate Professor of Computer Science at the University of Sydney and a member of the CHAI (Computer Human Adapted Interaction) research group.  My research is in systems and user interfaces for long-term user modelling that can make use of rich sensor data from an individual’s personal digital ecosystem of worn carried and embedded devices. I designed and built the series of Personis user modelling systems. These provide a flexible and powerful way to capture person’s personal data in user models that can enable people to scrutinise and control the models and their use. Personis has been used to create diverse personalised systems, ranging from simple loggers to personalised teaching systems.  I am particularly interested in harnessing IoT technology to create "simple" devices that people can put in just the right place to help them remember to do important small tasks. 

The Michigan Interactive and Social Computing research group connects researchers studying human-computer interaction, social computing, and computer-supported cooperative work across the University of Michigan.