Computer (March 2005)

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Sample text

By knowing that certain signaling patterns reliably lead to these desired states, the computer can begin to gently guide the conversation to a happy ending by providing timely feedback. Similarly, the ability to measure social variables like interest and trust ought to enable more productive discussions, while the ability to measure social competition offers the possibility of reducing problems like groupthink and polarization. If the computer can measure the early signs of problems, it can intervene before the situation becomes unsalvageable.

Recommend that current occupants consult with others who worked on the same content while occupying the same space earlier or it could direct them to look at related documents created earlier in the same space. The system-oriented and people-oriented approaches represent the end points of a line along which we can position weighted combinations of both types of smartness depending on the application domain. Although in some cases it might be more efficient if the system does not ask for a user’s feedback and confirmation at every step in an action chain, the overall design rationale should aim to keep the user in the loop and in control whenever possible.

The shading within a circle reflects that person’s interest level, the darker the shading, the higher the interest. Thicker circle borders denote groups. ” By designing systems that are aware of human social signaling, and that adapt themselves to human social context, we may be able to remove the medium’s message and replace it with the traditional messaging of face-to-face communication. Just as computers are disappearing into clothing and walls, the otherness of communications technology might disappear as well, leaving us with organizations that are not only more efficient, but that also better balance our formal, informal, and personal lives.

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