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Here is my first argument outline. It has plot holes and I am trying to find out more. Please feel free to critique and give your opinions on what you think. Nathan already gave me a few pointers


Basic Argument:

Computers need to have emotional Intelligence 

  •  Emotion is part of the context
    • We are not always rational: We are emotive beings to think that when we are interacting with a computer we are always in a neutral state is not very in situ!
    • Desiderata and Sociability:  Explanation of context and why problem solving is not enough
    • Example: Nathan trying to find the temporary saved file when his computer crashed. .Using desiderata framework
  • Need based design produces incomplete solutions
    • Usability and Functionality is not enough
    • Pleasure is important for day to day design: What is pleasurable and how need based design does only thinks of it as aesthetics
    • Example: Jeff interacting with Cortana.


  • We are in an abusive relationship with computers (I will write a better claim once it makes sense)
    • We are emotionally invested in computers: We are natural meaning makers, we associate everything with a personality.  
    • Our computer are not invested in us: Computers trigger similar social interactions as people, but do not reciprocate.
    • Example: It’s like talking to a zombie!


  • We already know that emotive computers work
    • Science Fiction Theory and its awesomeness: what we know from sci fiction theory and how it helps us speculate. In combination with desiderata.  
    • Example: R2d2, HER. Using SF theory framework and ACT framework what can we learn about them.


So I already know certain things I need to read (thanks to Nathan). Here are the things that I have read, the italicized are the ones just recommended.

[1] Don Norman: Emotional Design (the whole book!)

[2] Bardzell and Bardzell: Great and troubling beauty

[3] Nelson and Stolterman: Desiderata, Design Way

[4] Trevor Van Gorp, Edie Adams: Design for Emotion. (The whole book)

[5] Crampton and Smith: Design for everyday life

[6] Picard  Affective Computers

[7] switch: its a book on emotional intelligence

So what are your thoughts, comments, concerns?

Yeah, so I am a little behind, but I am moving I think in the right direction. I am currently doing the brainstorming session and trying to make sense of things and need a little help with frameworks that I could potentially use.

So primary claim (it may change) is that computers/robots need to have emotional intelligence to better understand context and provide appropriate responses.

As examples, I am going to use r2d2 and c3p0 from science fiction (using Jeff’s paper as framework for analysis)

And then for real examples, I am going to use Google, Siri and Cortana as examples. I was thinking about using the “A.C.T” model used in Design for Emotion:


  • Processed unconsciously and automatically (Reptilian brain)
  • Aesthetics of the product (i.e., sight, sound, smell, touch, movement, and
  • color)
  • Whether users’ find the aesthetics appealing
  •  Pleasures and passions the aesthetics provide


  • Processed unconsciously and automatically (Mammalian brain)
  • How the product interacts and behaves (i.e., ease of use)
  •  Whether the product meets up to users’ standards
  •  Benefits that come from use and the completion of tasks
  •  Feelings of intimacy and connection


  • Processed consciously—can override unconscious (Neomammalian brain)
  • Based on the attribution of personality communicated through the qualities of
  • the aesthetics and interaction
  • The product’s contributions to our self-image and identity
  •  Benefits that come from the completion of goals
  • Feelings of trust leading to commitment


I am probably not going to use the Transact part of the model. Is there any other framework we did in class that you think can be helpful?

On a positive note, I have 2500 words in block quotes!

So I just finally pieced together what I want to do and am currently pulling quotes from different papers. The basic idea comes from Don Norman’s Emotional Design.

When machines display emotions, they provide a rich and satisfying interaction with people, even though most of the richness and satisfaction, most of the interpretation and understanding, comes from within the head of the person, not from the artificial system

I basically want to argue that emotional intelligence is important for the future developments of computers and robots. I will contrast R2D2 and C3P0 with Siri and Cortana (apple and Windows phone) and show the difference in interactions of systems that are capable of emotional intelligence vs systems that only interpret commands.

For example, the other day Jeff Gadzala was showing off Cortana and was trying to get Cortana make a reference to the video game. Unfortunately, Cortana took him literally (“Cortana can you tell me about Master Chief”) and gave him a wiki answer! In this situation for example, had his phone been able to recognize the emotions (casual, joking), it would have been able to offer a joke or two!

I am probably going to dissect each example based on the readings (Sutcliff, McCarthy and Wright, Folkman, Bradzell and Bradzell) and show why emotional intelligence is important.

My question is, does this seem reasonable and narrowed down enough? Are there any seminal papers that I am missing out? Other thoughts and concerns?

When I read this paper, it reminded me of my own experiences (inspiring moments) and about Philippe Starck’s Squid lemon squeezer. Starck was of the opinion that it was his gift (my understanding of him, maybe not his words), but now that I have read this paper, it makes sense why he made those connections.

For all the fellow IDPers this was one of the first things we learned about the design process, Constrain your design. If we really think about what happened to Starck, I propose that the combination of Calamari, lemon and thinking about making a tray constrained his problem space. He started to see the connections and came up with his sketches.

Creative density means space for odd, surprising, or useless objects in the studio and the chance to find something unexpected in surprising or interesting combinations of those objects.

This is a classic example of constraining a design process. For example, yesterday I was trying to come up with an idea for still life photography for meaning and form. My topic was Propaganda and politics. I was drawing a blank until I saw the duplo animal figures lying about in the studio. By constraining my problem space down to Politics and animal figures….the idea became obvious; a still life on Animal Farm. Now this is not a case of talent or pure inspiration. It is the power of constraints.

The ability to see connections between different things can only take place when you have different things to connect. I think is what brute force thinking is all about. The people who say are being inspired by everyday things in my mind is essentially connecting themes together and synthesizing because of constraints. It is probably why I have such a hard time writing papers, because I almost never have examples to contraint my thoughts. Lesson learned!

I am sort of confused about this paper so here are my thoughts

The author, creator, designer etc: I feel this is a paper written for HCI people or for people who attend ubicomp conferences. It seems like the author is trying to make a case for ubicomp and a potential use for ubicomp. He is proposing a new way of thinking about the use of ubicomp and design it-self.

The main reason I say he is proposing a new way of thinking about design itself is because he says “the design of spore 1.1 evokes political issues without resolving them.”  It isn’t really producing solutions but exposing current states. Which is similar to all the arguments we had towards why Warhol is art!

The work itself

The design of the system identifies the factors at play and establishes their relationships and possible consequences, but it leaves open the space of interpretation and contest. 

DiSalvo’s explanation on what spore 1.1 does would be my definition of critical design. Again he is strongly interested in highlighting existing relationships and leaving it open for debate. The interesting difference is in the notion of “connectedness“. Compared to Blood bag radio the designs DiSalvo talks about have a lot more working parts. The combination of several seemingly independent objects linked together creates something new and brings out something political in nature. The key emphasis the DiSalvo makes is that when the pieces come together, they form something with a completely new meaning which is more than a sum of its parts.

“As devices of articulation, the products of ubicomp join together, by design multiple elements in a manner that transforms the identity and meaning of those elements and results in a new object-an articulated collective.”

I seriously can’t see the difference between this and critical design. If we compare this to Dunne and Raby’s blood bag radio, I don’t see a lot of difference. Sure BBR has  less working parts, but when you look at the materiality of the items, the individual parts and their actual use, it is very different from the way it reads when you look at BBR holistically. For example; the bag looks like a bear. If you really think about it, a blood bag can infact look like a bear. Especially in the context of a children’s hospital. But the moment you attach the energy context to it, that the blood is from a pet, it changes the way you look at the bag. Now, it is a vision of the future. It exposes the energy crisis and potentially how far we are willing to go get energy for our radios.

From this point, things get a little blurry for me since he just seems to be interested in merging words! I will post more about this later, but does my summary make sense? Am I understanding this correctly or has this completely flown over my head?

What are your thoughts on this paper?

I like this paper a lot and it got me to think a lot about horror, comedy, the fine line in between and user reactions and response to context.

Specifically, such fictions are generally
designed to control and guide our emotional responses in such a way that, ideally,
horror audiences are supposed to react emotionally to the monsters featured in
horror fictions in the same manner that the characters in horror fictions react
emotionally to the monsters they meet there

Carroll mentions this and it really resonates with me. I think a major factor to what is humor and what is horror has to do with the reactions. For me, the reactions of the actors give the audience a context…is it horror or is it comedy. That being said people themselves bring something to the table and decided if it is infact horror or comedy.

So Jared just posted a video on Day-Z. Honestly what made that funny was the guy who was laughing at it. If I personally was playing that game and that happened, I would not hang around, I would head for the hills. It may be because I am in the studio alone this late, but in my context, that was terrifying.

And that brings me to my primary argument. In movies what separates horror from comedy is the reactions of the characters. Carroll points out that horror and comedy both have similarities especially since both of them seem to take a normal situation and juxtapose it with something opposite. Dracula is dead and not dead at the same time. With this juxtapositioning in mind, I want to show the difference in the way we interpret horror and comedy is based on the reactions of the characters. The walking dead vs Shaun of the dead would be ideal examples. Specifically their first encounters with zombies.

In the walking dead the main characters expression is of confusion and fear. Character reaction to Zombies TWD_Ep_101_Sneak-325

This is similar to what Carroll says. But the point is, the actor and his reactions tell us this is serious. There are other queues in the shots, but their reaction to an unusual situation tells us that we should be fearful for him.

Whereas in Shaun of the dead, the characters react very differently to the zombies. they at first sort of ignore them, but when they find out you have to destroy the brain to destroy the zombie they get a hold of their LP’s and proceed to throw it at the zombies


It is this absurd reaction that tells the audience that this is comedy even though almost everything else is the same. You will never see this happen in the walking dead. The actors will never take their time and go through their LP collection while death approaches them slowly.

We can see how reactions of the characters can persuade our emotional reactions. Now let me give you an example in which we bring our own feelings into it. This is not horror related, but has to do with comedy.

In Inglorious Basterds there is a scene in which the Bastards have captured a group of Nazis and proceed to brutally interrogate them. What is interesting was the audiences reactions to the interrogation. People were laughing when they were graphically scalping heads, even when they beat a soldier to death with a baseball bat. It was funny primarily because we all know the Nazis were not good people (a dumb way to summarize it!)

Similarly in the movie, the Germans were watching a movie in which the Americans were dying…the Germans in the audience were laughing, but the audience in the real theater were not. We do not associate the death of American soldiers to fun.  What I am trying to say is that we as an audience also have a say in what is funny and what is horror. Our experiences and context definitely shape our reactions.

Thus in a similar fashion, I think Jared’s video is funny only and only because the guy is laughing….I swear, watch the video without the guys laughter and it becomes pretty scary!


I was going to argue about why certain games and movies do not pass the test of time and more specifically why older games will die faster than older movies.

I want to be clear, I am excluding games like Tetris, old mario, games that have simplistic mechanisms. I want to talk about more complex game mechanics and how the complex interactions have gotten better over time which in result makes the mechanics of previous games feel sluggish and problematic. I am claiming that the better more advanced versions of certain interactions are slowly killing off the older games. The same way better visual effect driven movies are sort of ruining the older ones. If you do not have nostalgia associated with an older game, you will have a hard time playing it, or even understanding why it was such a good game when it came out.

Example: Re-watch “Star wars the Phantom Menace” Do not think about the movie, look especially at the visual effects. Back when it came out, it was the most spectacular thing you had seen, now, you can easily see the pixels! Now I am not saying this ruins movies like the old school “Clash of the titans.” I am saying Visual effects is killing itself.

Similarly, try going back and playing Half life, or even the first assassins creed. The interactions specifically feel problematic. For example in the newer games, if you character reaches an edge, they do not fall off. They sort of step near the edge and back up unless you force them to fall off. In older games like Prince of persia and even Zelda, if you reached a corner and stepped a little bit more than you should have you would fall. For long distance jumping you had to get the exact steps. Whereas in todays games, the game mechanics sort of compromise and complete the task any way. So I propose if you go and play an older game, these tiny differences will add up and make it a frustrating experience.

I need to do more research.


Watch this video . And the making of it in this video.


What I really like about this video is the way they made it. To explain why this video is so good, I have to explain it in the language of movie makingf.

First of all, it is a single shot. There are no cuts. This itself makes it a challenging and the most obvious thing that people will notice. Even if someone is unaware of the references (And I showed it to some!), the thing they notice is that it is one continuous shot. If you look at the making, you realize that this is not an easy feat.

The Lighting in the movie is fantastic. It changes constantly to match the mood and feel of the final image. If you watch the making video, you will notice how the lights change and what they have to do to capture the mood. Specially for the “Creation of Adam” scene, they needed two people to jump in and add reflectors to get the golden feel. If you notice it carefully in the final video, you will notice exactly when the the reflectors come into action as there is a distinct change in tone.

Sound. The music is catchy, but I want you to point out the ambient noises they added into the movie. I am very confident (although not 100%) that the noises were added in in post. Typically in a studio you do not hear lights go off. But in the video you do hear a big light switch going on. Also when they turn on colored/filtered light you hear this noise. This is done for ambience and if the actual microphone had caught this sound, we would have heard the footsteps of people as well! What I am trying to say is that they deliberately added those to create a better effect.



So Godard is one of the directors that broke pretty much every single rule so I was not surprised to see a poster that did not have its verticals aligned, the actress was cropped out at the knees. Most of those were probably intentional.

Actually pretty much everything in movies is intentional, watch this last part of the video. And Godard was actually against this. He was the first director to have an actress look directly at the camera and talk to the audience for example (its from a movie called Breathless)

Basically, the poster that Jeff showed did actually represent Godard and his style pretty accurately!

The Basic Argument

Claim: Models are too simplistic when it comes to behavior change

To Whom: Interaction designers

  • What do they believe: Models have their place (first and second wave), Holistic design is important.
  • What do you want to change: Breaking down a problem into sub parts and trying to solve the sub parts independently. NOTE: I am not saying you have to consider everything, I am saying you should at least try to look at how the parts may influence each other, or how things left out may interact with the parts in the model.
  • Technical vocab: Model, Holistic, Slow change (It’s new).

Supporting claims

A simplistic model leads to incorrect assumptions.

  • It is almost always assumed that lack of motivation, and the lack of awareness is the issue.
  • It is assumed that people are lazy and just need the right push at the right time.
  • Knowledge of their behavior will lead to improvement.
  • Change does not have to be so hard.

Tackling an individual part of a model independently may result in an ill-defined solution

  • More motivation through social media, peer pressure etc can in fact be considerably harmful.
  • Awareness can lead to overwhelming.

Issues/areas to explore:

More papers on Models and where they are applicable and when they are not. I stumbled into the claims towards the end. I was more focused on trying to show that body data was a bad idea! But now, my approach is to ultimately show that the way we are deploying body data driven solutions are overtly simple.

I need to find other papers in which body data has been used to solve health related problems. This will help with identifying other types of models out there.

There may be a super claim here that body data driven solutions force designers into using simplistic models as the data they can show a user has to be simplistic. But I need to research more to be able to claim this. Any ideas on how I could proceed?