Symbiotic Interaction: A Critical Definition and Comparison to other Human-Computer Paradigms

  • Giulio Jacucci
  • Anna Spagnolli
  • Jonathan Freeman
  • Luciano Gamberini
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 8820)


We propose a definition of symbiotic interaction that is informed by current developments in computing. We clearly distinguish this definition from previous ones and from selected paradigms that address the human-computer relationship. The definition is also informed by a variety of human-centered frameworks in human-computer interaction, including embodied interactions, situationist frameworks, and participatory and work-oriented design perspectives. Symbiotic interactions can be achieved by combining computation, sensing technology, and interaction design to realize deep perception, awareness, and understanding between humans and computers. Important aspects to implement are transparency, reciprocity, and collaborative use of resources for both computers and humans. The symbiotic relationship is also characterized by goals and agency independence of humans and computers. The definition sets the premise to discuss in a critical way future research agendas for symbiotic interactions that are sensitive to human-centered values.


Human-computer symbiosis Human-computer interaction frameworks Research agenda Affective computing Persuasive technologies Embodied interaction 



This research has been partially funded by the by the European Community through the MindSee Project (FP7 – ICT; Grant Agreement 611570) and TEKES through the Re:Know project.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Giulio Jacucci
    • 1
    • 3
  • Anna Spagnolli
    • 2
  • Jonathan Freeman
    • 4
  • Luciano Gamberini
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Computer Science, Helsinki Institute for Information Technology HIITUniversity of HelsinkiHelsinkiFinland
  2. 2.Department of General PsychologyUniversity of PaduaPaduaItaly
  3. 3.Helsinki Institute for Information Technology HIITAalto UniversityEspooFinland
  4. 4.Department of Psychology, I2 Media ResearchGoldsmiths University of LondonLondonUK

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