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Broad Area Colloquium for Artificial Intelligence,
Geometry, Graphics, Robotics and Vision

Collaborative Interfaces and Human-Centered Compression

Stuart Shieber
Harvard University

Monday, April 8th, 2002, 4:45PM
Gates B01


We briefly present the notion of a "collaborative interface", an interface between human and computer based on collaboration between the two, rather than the master-slave relationship typically found in conventional user interfaces. As a motivating example of the approach, we describe a drawing tool with a novel interface that allows for direct manipulation by both user and system. We then present some recent work on improving text input to computers under degraded conditions, such as text entry on PDAs or cell phones or by disabled users, that has been inspired by the collaborative interfaces idea. Using simple weighted finite-state transducers to model a "human-centered compression"" method, we can achieve a substantial decrease in character entry without the task switching overheads of previous predictive methods.

About the Speaker

Stuart Shieber is Gordon McKay Professor of Computer Science in the Division of Engineering and Applied Sciences at Harvard University.

Professor Shieber received an AB in applied mathematics summa cum laude from Harvard College in 1981 and a PhD in computer science from Stanford University in 1989. Between 1981 and 1989, he was a computer scientist at the Artificial Intelligence Center at SRI International and a research fellow at the Center for the Study of Language and Information at Stanford University. He has been a professor at Harvard since 1989.

Professor Shieber was awarded a Presidential Young Investigator award in 1991, and was named a Presidential Faculty Fellow in 1993, one of only thirty in the country in all areas of science and engineering. At Harvard, he has been awarded two honorary chairs: the John L. Loeb Associate Professorship in Natural Sciences in 1993 and the Harvard College Professorship in 2001. He is the author of numerous books and articles in computer science. He has been a member of the executive committee of the Association for Computational Linguistics, the editorial boards for the journals Computational Linguistics, the Journal of Artificial Intelligence Research, the Joural of Language and Computation, and the Journal of Heuristics, and founded and organized the Computation and Language E-Print Archive until its superseding by the Computing Research Repository on which he advised.

Professor Shieber holds five patents, and is co-founder of Cartesian Products, Inc., a high-technology research and development company based in Cambridge, Massachusetts, providing advanced software technology to improve worldwide communication and information access.

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