TR2004-053

'Man-Computer Symbiosis' Revisited: Achieving Natural Communication and Collaboration with Computers


    •  Lesh, N.; Marks, J.; Rich, C.; Sidner, C.L., "'Man-Computer Symbiosis' Revisited: Achieving Natural Communication and Collaboration with Computers", IEICE Transactions on Electronics, December 2004.
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      • @article{Lesh2004dec,
      • author = {Lesh, N. and Marks, J. and Rich, C. and Sidner, C.L.},
      • title = {'Man-Computer Symbiosis' Revisited: Achieving Natural Communication and Collaboration with Computers},
      • journal = {IEICE Transactions on Electronics},
      • year = 2004,
      • month = dec,
      • url = {http://www.merl.com/publications/TR2004-053}
      • }

In 1960, the famous computer pioneer J.C.R. Licklider described a vision for human-computer interaction that he called "man-computer symbiosis." Licklider predicted the development of computer software that would allow people "to think in interaction with a computer in the same way that you think with a colleague whose competence supplements your own." More than 40 years later, one rarely encounters any computer application that comes close to capturing Licklider's notion of human-like communication and collaboration. We echo Licklider by arguing that true symbiotic interaction requires at least the following three elements: a complementary and effective division of labor between human and machine; an explicit representation in the computer of the user's abilities, intentions, and beliefs; and the utilization of nonverbal communication modalities. We illustrate this argument with various research prototypes currently under development at Mitsubishi Electric Research Laboratories (USA).