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Retrospective: CS Talks @TU Graz

News from Mar 26, 2020

Prof. Müller-Birn's talk "Collaboration is the Key: Human-Centered Design of Computational Systems" was one of the last public events before COVID-19 lead to a lock-down of TU Graz, just right after her talk.

Prof. Birn reflected on her research work and vision on human-machine collaboration. This collaboration focuses on the design of hybrid task allocations where human and machine activities intertwine to achieve shared goals. Motivated by her research on the peer-production community Wikipedia, more specifically on the bot community, she relates to Wikipedia's System of Algorithmic Governance. The questions that arose from this system of algorithmic governance led to her research on human-machine collaboration. The goal is to improve our understanding of existing design parameters for sustainable human-machine collaborations. Based on two research projects (task allocation and explanations), she shared her insights for human-centered evaluation of human-machine partnerships. From an HCI perspective, the assessment of software focuses on interaction design. User studies, for example, measure the usability of an interface concerning a specific task. From an AI perspective, the evaluation of software concentrates on algorithms. In offline experiments, the quality of a classifier is, for example, measured based on precision and recall. Thus, there is a need to integrate the algorithm design with the interaction design when building and evaluating software.

However, simple integration is not enough. A person's physical, historical, social, and cultural situation strongly influences the experience of using the software. The evaluation of what makes universally valid measures should no longer define successful software. Instead, participatory design and value-sensitive design, for example, allow for establishing new criteria for success by considering direct and indirect stakeholders. Prof. Birn finalizes her talk with her long-term vision for "true" collaboration between humans and machines. This collaboration means that all activities are negotiated, depending on the context, one or the other becomes active.

You can find more pictures on the event's website.

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