Technology's Potential to Expand Human Communication

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A presentation for Yu Centrik\'s Chit Chat 2009.

A presentation for Yu Centrik\'s Chit Chat 2009.

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  • 1. Technology’s Potential to Expand Human Communication Jay Vidyarthi User Experience Designer / Research Coordinator
  • 2. Table of Contents 1. The Limitations of Language 2. Communication Through Experience Design 3. Future Directions 2
  • 3. The Limitations of Language Modern society is a product of language. Technology has improved its range/format. Speech Writing Print Phone Internet 3
  • 4. The Limitations of Language Language is a symbolic representation. Abstract meaning is assigned to combinations of symbols to facilitate transmission. 4
  • 5. The Limitations of Language Symbols are naturally ambiguous. Me: I feel like a burger… You: Funny… you don’t look like a burger… lol! 5
  • 6. The Limitations of Language “Two roads diverged in a yellow wood, And sorry I could not travel both And be one traveler, long I stood And looked down one as far as I could To where it bent in the undergrowth; Then took the other, as just as fair, And having perhaps the better claim, Because it was grassy and wanted wear; Though as for that the passing there Had worn them really about the same, And both that morning equally lay In leaves no step had trodden black. Oh, I kept the first for another day! Yet knowing how way leads on to way, I doubted if I should ever come back. I shall be telling this with a sigh Somewhere ages and ages hence: Two roads diverged in a wood, and I— I took the one less traveled by, And that has made all the difference.” - Robert Frost “The Road Not Taken” 6
  • 7. The Limitations of Language …efficient with words, isn’t he? In fact, language is an interface for human communication, and poets are ‘power users’ 7
  • 8. The Limitations of Language My Language Your Thought Understanding 8
  • 9. The Limitations of Language My Language Your Thought Understanding My ideas are going through a funnel… 9
  • 10. The Limitations of Language My Language Your Thought Understanding The poet makes very elegant use of the funnel… 10
  • 11. The Limitations of Language My Language Thought Technology: Telephone/E-mail/etc. Language Your Understanding 11
  • 12. The Limitations of Language My Language Thought Technology: Telephone/E-mail/etc. Your ideas are Language Your still going Understanding through a funnel… 12
  • 13. The Limitations of Language My Thought ? Is there a way to communicate without the Your “funnel” of Understanding symbols/language? 13
  • 14. The Limitations of Language Poets master working within the constraints of language. Musicians master working within different constraints to communicate abstract concepts/emotion through sound. (our innovation where language fails…) 14
  • 15. The Limitations of Language Interface design: helps us surpass language limitations. The guitar provides an EXPRESSIVE interface to control sound and communicate moods beyond the limits of language. 15
  • 16. ‘Improve’ vs. ‘Expand’ Singer/songwriter: uses guitar interface to create sound to supplement words. Experience Designer: uses technology to create context which supplements words. 16
  • 17. The Limitations of Language Computers and technology could provide such interfaces for abstract expression… …but instead we mostly use it to amplify verbal expression. 17
  • 18. The Limitations of Language With an expressive interface for computer programming, we could expand communication beyond the limits of language. (WTF!?) i.e. “What happened to you last night?” 18
  • 19. Communication Through Experience Technology has the potential to become like music… a novel form of communication, beyond words. 19
  • 20. Communication Through Experience “Post-Symbolic Communication” Beyond symbols, a direct expression of thought / feeling. Jaron Lanier… Father of “virtual reality” Tele-immersion researcher Computer scientist Philosopher Musician “Musical instruments are the only good user interfaces.” – Jaron Lanier 20
  • 21. ‘Improve’ vs. ‘Expand’ Experience design IS “post- symbolic communication”. …building experiences for your audience, using technology to supplement words… just as the musician uses his guitar… (music, movies, video games, websites, etc.) 21
  • 22. Future Directions Today, creating impressive experiences is difficult and time-consuming. Implementation is complex and costly, so we need to plan. Analyze > strategize > design > test… …implement. 22
  • 23. Future Directions tele-immersion + virtual reality + expressive programming = on-the-fly experience design START: tele-conferencing FAST FORWARD: expand to daily conversation through social networks. 23
  • 24. Future Directions We could EXPAND human communication! Real-time manifestation (help me express my thoughts) Self-identity, communication and creative expression… 24
  • 25. Future Directions Remember: design is communication. Consider how the concepts in any design project can express themselves beyond language… Your designs can become an embodiment of technology as its own form of communication. 25
  • 26. Future Directions Wikipedia uses language to its limit, but… Would every practitioner agree? 26
  • 27. Future Directions The true state of human knowledge is a vibrant ongoing discussion… …and we end-up with a flat, flavourless “average” definition. 27
  • 28. Future Directions Wikipedia could use the power of technology and its influence to upgrade the way we express our society’s knowledge to new heights! - provide practical information - present it in its state of debate - escape an antique frame defined by the limitations of print distribution The focus is on… 28
  • 29. …designing for the technological expansion of communication. Thank you. Please, disagree with me!!!111 jay@yucentrik.ca