Neo-Symbiosis: The Next Stage in the Evolution of Human Information Interaction

Neo-Symbiosis: The Next Stage in the Evolution of Human Information Interaction

Douglas Griffith, Frank L. Greitzer
DOI: 10.4018/jcini.2007010103
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The purpose of this article is to re-address the vision of human-computer symbiosis as originally expressed by J.C.R. Licklider nearly a half-century ago and to argue for the relevance of this vision to the field of cognitive informatics. We describe this vision, place it in some historical context relating to the evolution of human factors research, and observe that the field is now in the process of re-invigorating Licklider’s vision. A central concept of this vision is that humans need to be incorporated into computer architectures. We briefly assess the state of the technology within the context of contemporary theory and practice, and we describe what we regard as this emerging field of neo-symbiosis. Examples of neo-symbiosis are provided, but these are nascent examples and the potential of neo-symbiosis is yet to be realized. We offer some initial thoughts on requirements to define functionality of neo-symbiotic systems and discuss research challenges associated with their development and evaluation. Methodologies and metrics for assessing neo-symbiosis are discussed.

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