Contact person Dr Clara Mancini: C.Mancini@open.ac.uk
The Aims of ACI
Although animals have been involved in machine interactions for a long time, their perspective has seldom driven the design of interactive technology intended for them. Animal-Computer Interaction (ACI) aims to fill this gap by:
- studying the interaction between animals and computing technology within the animals’ habitual contexts
- designing interactive technology that can support animals in their habitual tasks or daily lives, and foster interspecies relationships
- developing user-centred approaches and protocols to the design of technology that is intended for animal use
The benefits of ACI
ACI has the potential to expand the horizon of user-computer interaction to create new forms of interspecies computing and provide novel technological solutions to problems faced by interdependent species sharing changing social, built and natural environments. ACI can benefit human and nonhuman animals by:
- enhancing our inter-species relationships
- leading to further insights into animal cognition
- rendering conservation efforts more effective
- improving the environmental, economic and ethical sustainability of food production
- expanding the horizon of user-computer interaction research.
The ethics of ACI
ACI research is non-speciesist and, regardless of their species, all individuals involved are treated as participants equally worthy of respect. To ensure that ACI research is carried out under strictest ethical standards, we have developed an ACI Research Ethics protocol, granting animal participants the same protection granted to vulnerable humans (e.g. children), who are unable to consent to their involvement.