Human-Computer Interaction Issues in Human Computation

  • Stuart ReevesEmail author


This chapter explores the relationship between human computation and human-computer interaction (HCI). HCI is a field concerned with innovating, evaluating and abstracting principles for the design of usable interfaces. Significant work on human computation has taken place within HCI already (see Quinn and Bederson (Human computation: a survey and taxonomy of a growing field. In: Proceedings of the SIGCHI conference on human factors in computing systems (CHI ‘11), ACM, New York, pp 1403–1412, 2011) and, beyond HCI (Jamieson et al. Research directions for pushing harnessing human computation to mainstream video games. In: Meaningful play, East Lansing, 18–20 Oct 2012, 2012) for reviews of this work) and, as a result of the encounter between HCI and human computation, there are many results concerned with the relevance of interaction design for human computation systems. Rather than attempt to cover this wide range of issues comprehensively, this chapter focuses on providing a broad critique of the nature of the concepts, orientations and assumptions with which human computation systems design is considered within HCI. In particular it addresses two of the five foundational questions for human computation systems suggested by Law and von Ahn: (1) how to guarantee solutions are accurate, efficient and economical; and (2) how to motivate human components in their participation and expertise and interests (Law and von Ahn Human computation. Morgan & Claypool Synthesis Lectures on Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning, 2011). These two key human-related issues lead us to address the ways in which designers conceive of, model and frame the human element of interactive systems and how this is relevant in informing our understanding of the human element of human computation systems. Building on empirical work in human computation games (e.g., Bell et al. (2008)), this critique seeks to reorient human computation’s perspective on human conduct as a fundamentally interpretive and socially organised accomplishment that is negotiated between humans in human computation systems, rather than an algorithmic process. Key elements of this reorientation argued in the chapter are: (1) that the human perspective should be considered a foundational issue in human computation; (2) that meaning within human computation systems is situated (i.e., within a particular context); and (3) that the ways in which human computation systems are experienced by human participants fundamentally frames their interaction with it and thus also the products of these interactions.


Computational Node Human Element Information Processor Commonsense Knowledge Foundational Question 
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© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Computer ScienceUniversity of NottinghamNottinghamUK

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