Content-type: text/html ~ Stephen's Web ~ Seven HCI Grand Challenges

Stephen Downes

Knowledge, Learning, Community

I am attached to the human-computer interaction (HCI) team at NRC, and ever since that placement I have railed against this characterization of my work, and especially against interpretations that reduce it to things like user testing and interface design. This paper takes a much broader approach. The seven grand challenges are as follows:

  1. Human-technology symbiosis
  2. Human-environment interactions
  3. Ethics, privacy and security
  4. Well-being, health and eudaimonia
  5. Accessibility and universal access
  6. Learning and creativity
  7. Social organization and democracy

While I have been critical of our definitions of HCI in the past, this list (in addition to being research-supportive) looks inclusive enough to take in the interests of our group as a whole, and also has the advantage of setting out the challenges we're interested in. For myself,  I am quite interested in items 3,5,6 and 7 (and also eudaimona as discussed by Umair Haque). it would be interesting to see these mapped against NRC strategic goals, and against the different programs.


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Stephen Downes Stephen Downes, Casselman, Canada

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Last Updated: Jul 22, 2024 01:40 a.m.

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