Research Overview

Mixed-Initiative Design

In artificial intelligence, the term "mixed-initiative" generally refers to the interaction between two agents (say a human and a computer), where either of the two can take the initiative in deciding the state of their collective task. As per Marti Hearst: "Mixed-initiative refers to a flexible interaction strategy, where each agent can contribute to the task what it does best."

Most approaches in design research view automation and direct manipulation of data as two completely different (and perhaps opposite) research avenues. Our fundamental question is: "Is there a middle ground between these extremes and can such a middle ground provide new insights into the design process?" It is to answer this question that we draw from the notion of mixed-initiative interactions, and seek to determine the balance between automation and interaction using new technologies and data representations.

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