7th CS Talk on Human-Centered Design of Computational Systems

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At the 7th edition of the CS Talks on March 10th, organised by University of Technology Graz and the Know-Center, Computer-Supported Cooperative Work and Social Computing expert Claudia Müller-Birn will speak about the future of human-machine interaction, current challenges and gaps in current research and suggestions for integrating new methods into computer science education.


We use computational systems for supporting our decision making in many parts of our society. Computational systems filter, sort, calculate and recommend choices based on the data available to them. A common assumption is that these systems can replace (or at least support) humans in their decision-making processes.

Thus, the introduction of computational systems is often thought of as a ‘substitution problem.’ In a fixed  human workflow, certain tasks are replaced by a machine or an algorithm, leading to the need for less labor, fewer errors, and higher accuracy, among other things. We all know, however, about problems that have occurred while using computational systems in social contexts.


Claudia Müller-Birn argues for an alternative perspective on the design of computational systems: “We should incorporate the interdependence of joint human-machine activities into the design – fostering co-adaptation. Thus, I emphasize the concept of human-machine collaboration across a spectrum that runs between the poles of interactive systems on one side and intelligent systems on the other. This human-machine collaboration would follow a mixed-initiative interaction approach in which humans and machines interact and negotiate their actions. However, collaboration is complex in such a setting.”

The Computer Science Talks were initiated by Graz University of Technology and the Know-Center 2018 in order to highlight the social relevance of computer science and especially the role of women in this exciting (research) field.

All information on the 7th edition of the CS Talks.