The kick-off meeting of IFIP’s new Working Group on Human-Centred Intelligent Interactive Systems took place during the IFIP TC 13 INTERACT conference held in York during the last week of August 2023. Attracting 44 people from 17 countries and organised by Professor Albrecht Schmidt from Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität, Munich, the new group is a combined initiative of WG 13.11 and WG 12.14.

Artificial Intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) have become key foundations for computing systems. Intelligent interactive systems directly impact humans and their relationship with data, information and smart environments. Designing and implementing such systems poses new challenges and requires new approaches in human-computer-interaction (HCI). New opportunities for the design of user interfaces and interaction metaphors arise, and concepts and models for interactive systems will change. On a more abstract level, new dimensions need to be considered, including new ethical aspects and human-centred development.

Moving towards automated and autonomous systems will change the user experience and the relationship to digital technologies on both an individual and societal level. As a community, we need to find ways for humans to understand AI-based systems while retaining human control and oversight.

In the next years, the role of HCI in the conception, design and implementation of AI applications will be defined. The relationship between researchers and developers in AI and HCI is becoming essential to create real values for humans as well as for humanity. Advancing intelligent interactive systems needs skills and insights from both disciplines. Many properties, such as understandability, reliability, trustworthiness and safety cannot be considered without a deep understanding of the user experience and the interaction angle. However, so far, many applications are not focusing on people; they are not human-centred. Ensuring meaningful human interaction with AI is the key to the mass adoption of intelligent technologies.

The new Working Group aims to shift the focus to how AI can empower humans and support their endeavours. It emphasises the human side of the interaction between people and AI. To reach this goal, an operation under both TC13 (HCI) and TC12 (AI) will allow us to research and develop scientific foundations for Human-Centred Intelligent Interactive Systems. Such foundations include methods, models and algorithms for constructing and evaluating these systems. The new working group will fulfil the mandate as an IFIP technical asset by researching and aiding the technical development of Human-Centred Intelligent Interactive Systems as a new dimension of computer science. It will add to the body of knowledge in informatics and contribute new insights, methods and tools to the profession and aims at advancing society.

Prof. Albrecht Schmidt