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Adaptation: Meaning and the Intelligence Latent in Space | Bill Buxton

  • 13 Mar 2024
  • 7:00 PM
  • Online
  • 60


  • Current TorCHI members

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Place and space impose meaning upon the interactions which occur within – among living beings and/or machines alike. Yet, despite much excellent current and past work, the potential buried within remains largely latent. Complicating its release is the reality that such transactions are inherently dynamic and must adapt appropriately to such changes in space and/or place. Such adaptation represents the essence of intelligent behaviour.

The key to delivering consistent high-quality experience is to design interfaces which afford evermore adaptive and inconsistent ways in which that experience can be mediated.

The underlying assumption is that it is consistency with expectations in context, rather than with any specific form of mediation, which best reflects the quality of the design - including the ability to support accessibility. To bring such arm-waving thoughts down to earth, the presentation will be based on concrete examples from the literature and case studies. Hopefully, these will add some meat on the otherwise overly vague bone. The hope is to put a different spin on what constitutes an "intelligent" system or design.

Bill Buxton has had a 50+ year romance with human aspects of technology, interaction design, telepresence, multi-modal adaptive designs, access, and the nature of innovation. He has practiced his craft at the University of Toronto, Xerox PARC, Alias Research, SGI and Microsoft Research. Awards include four honourary doctorates, co-recipient of an Academy Award for scientific and technical achievement, ACM/SIGCHI Lifetime Achievement Award, and Fellow of the ACM. In Dec. 2023 he was appointed an Officer of the Order of Canada. Writer, speaker and consultant, he is also an Adjunct Professor, University of Toronto, and Distinguished Professor of Industrial Design, TU/Eindhoven. He is currently largely occupied curating his collection of over 900 artifacts documenting the history of interactive technologies. Outside of work, he has a passion for his family, books and the outdoors.


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