Interactive Human Center AI – A Definition and Research Challenges

Wednesday 28th April 2021

Abstract: Artificial Intelligence (AI) has become the buzzword of the last decade. Advances so far have been largely technical and only recently have we been seeing a shift towards focusing on human aspects of artificial intelligence. Particularly the notion of making AI interactive and explainable are in the center, which is a very narrow view. In the talk, I will suggest a definition for “Interactive Human Centered Artificial Intelligence” and outline the required properties to start a discussion on the goals of AI research and the properties that we should expect of future systems. It is central to be able to state who will benefit from a system or service. Staying in control is essential for humans to feel safe and have self-determination. I will discuss the key challenge of control and understanding of AI based systems and show that levels of abstractions and granularity of control are a potential solution. I further argue that AI and machine learning (ML) are very much comparable to raw materials (like stone, iron, or bronze). Historical periods are named after these materials as they have change what humans can build and what tools humans can engineer. Hence, I argue in the AI age we need to shift the focus from the material (e.g. the AI algorithms, as there will be plenty of material) towards the tools that are enabled and that are beneficial for humans. It is apparent that AI will allow the automation of mental routine tasks and that it will extend our ability to perceive things and foresee events. For me, the central question is how to create these tools for amplifying the human mind, without compromising human values.

Short Bio: Albrecht Schmidt is professor for Human-Centered Ubiquitous Media in the computer science department of the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München in Germany. He studied computer science in Ulm and Manchester and received a PhD from Lancaster University, UK, in 2003. He held several prior academic positions at different universities, including Stuttgart, Cambridge, Duisburg-Essen, and Bonn and also worked as a researcher at the Fraunhofer Institute for Intelligent Analysis and Information Systems (IAIS) and at Microsoft Research in Cambridge. In his research, he investigates the inherent complexity of human-computer interaction in ubiquitous computing environments, particularly in view of increasing computer intelligence and system autonomy. Albrecht has actively contributed to the scientific discourse in human-computer interaction through the development, deployment, and study of functional prototypes of interactive systems and interface technologies in different real world domains. His early experimental work addressed the use of diverse sensors to recognize situations and interactions, influencing our understanding of context-awareness and situated computing. He proposed the concept of implicit human-computer interaction. Over the years, he worked on automotive user interfaces, tangible interaction, interactive public display systems, interaction with large high-resolution screens, and physiological interfaces. Most recently, he focuses on how information technology can provide cognitive and perceptual support to amplify the human mind. To investigate this further, he received in 2016 a ERC grant. Albrecht has co-chaired several SIGCHI conferences; he is in the editorial board of ACM TOCHI, edits a forum in ACM interactions, a column of human augmentation in IEEE Pervasive, and formerly edited a column on interaction technologies in IEEE Computer. The ACM conferences on tangible and embedded interaction in 2007 and on automotive user interfaces in 2010 were co-founded by him. In 2018, Albrecht was induced into the ACM SIGCH Academy and in 2020, he was elected into Leopoldina, the Germany academy of natural science.