Age-Inclusive Interfaces

Emerging Mobile, Conversational, and Generative AI to Support Interactions across the Life Span

About

We are concurrently witnessing two significant shifts: voice and chat-based interfaces are becoming ubiquitous (especially more recently due to advances in generative AI and LLMs - large language models), and older people are becoming a very large demographic group (and increasingly adopting of mobile technology on which such interfaces are present). However, despite the recent increase in research activity, age-relevant and inter/cross-generational aspects continue to be underrepresented in both research and commercial product design. Therefore, the overarching aim of this workshop is to increase the momentum for research within the space of hands-free, mobile, and conversational interfaces that centers on age-relevant and inter- and cross-generational interaction. For this, we plan to create an interdisciplinary space that brings together researchers, designers, practitioners, and users, to discuss and share challenges, principles, and strategies for designing such interfaces across the life span. We thus welcome contributions of empirical studies, theories, design, and evaluation of hands-free, mobile, and conversational interfaces designed with aging in mind (e.g. older adults or inter/cross-generational). We particularly encourage contributions focused on leveraging recent advances in generative AI or LLMs. Through this, we aim to grow the community of MobileHCI researchers across disciplinary boundaries (human-computer interaction, voice and language technologies, geronto-technologies, information studies, etc.) that are engaged in the shared goal of ensuring that the aging dimension is appropriately incorporated in mobile / conversational interaction design research.

Workshop themes

We are proposing several “seed” themes to anchor the workshop, with further themes emerging from the contributions brought by workshop participants:

[Theme 1] People are living longer than ever. In fact, people aged 80 and 100+ are no longer an exception. We can see this demographic reality in virtually every report on the word population, especially in developed countries. This presents the HCI community with challenges and opportunities. How do we design (mobile technologies, conversational user interfaces) for centenarians? How do we involve them in our research activities? We should accept the fact that HCI does not still know how to work with older people, let alone people aged 100+.

[Theme 2] Much HCI research sees age as a state. In research studies, it is common to see sentences like “the participants are older (or younger) adults”. However, we are (all) growing older. While you read these sentences, you are ageing. It might therefore be important to see age as a process. We do not wake up one day and become older. How do we design digital technologies for this transition (from adult to older, from older to the oldest old, etc.)? These technologies are likely to serve us better by ageing with us. AI might help us to achieve this goal by learning from our activities and personalizing the interface according to the ageing process.

[Theme 3] How can GenAI help us design better interfaces for ageing and older adults? GenAI can become our research and design partner. We can ask ChatGPT and other similar technologies to create Personas, to provide us with information about a user group, or even to suggest design tips. How can we harvest the potential of GenAI to make user interfaces more accessible, usable, and meaningful? In what ways might GenAI support brainstorming and co-design processes? Or, will end-users become eventually unnecessary in our work because GenAI can ‘simulate’ them?

[Theme 4] How does the usability of Conversational User Interfaces (CUIs) affect OAs’ experience with, perception of, and adoption of CUIs across several types of applications that are important to underrepresented users such as OAs, especially on mobile devices? What are the user requirements for CUIs that enable their adoption by OAs across the type of applications that are relevant to this demographic and across the many form factors under which CUIs are embedded?

[Theme 5] What are the sociotechnical and human factors that influence the adoption of emerging interfaces such as CUIs across the life span, and how may such factors lead to designs that are not age inclusive? What tools and resources are needed to assist designers in building age-inclusive mobile conversational interactions (especially those powered by GenAI and LLMs?)

[Theme 6] How can ageism be reduced or mitigated in research and design, especially in the context of novel interactions such as those present in mobile, conversational interfaces enabled by GenAI and LLMs (e.g. chatbots, voice assistants)

Call for participation

This multidisciplinary workshop aims to tackle the significant gaps in theoretical frameworks, methodological approaches, and exploration of new paradigms within the research and design of age-inclusive Mobile, Hands-Free, Conversational User Interfaces, especially those leveraging recent advances in Generative AI and Large Language Models. We also aim to build research capacity by bringing together researchers and practitioners across several disciplines and industries who are actively working or having interest toward understanding the need and role of such interfaces in supporting interactions across the life (e.g. older adults, inter-generational interactions.)

We invite researchers from various fields to present their work on and collectively engage in synthesizing and collating findings from different disciplines, and to discuss barriers and approaches to designing age-inclusive CUIs that are usable, adoptable, and culturally relevant. Given the nascent phase of this community, and our goal of encouraging a grassroots approach to defining this space, we welcome position papers, short research papers, or short expressions of interest relevant to the broad space of our workshop.

There is no format for the expression of interest - those wishing to participate in the workshop without a submitted paper should simply contact the organizers via email indicating through a short paragraph their prior experience and/or interest as relevant to the workshop, alongside their professional website or scholar page. We welcome position papers, short research papers, and expressions of interest along the focus areas described earlier, as well as open topics suggested by potential attendees (given the nascent phase of this community, and our goal of encouraging a grassroots approach to defining this space).

For those interested in submitting a formal paper, we welcome short papers describing e.g. a research study, a novel system, a new theoretical contribution, or position papers that highlight new or ongoing challenges in the field. Submitted papers will be lightly reviewed by the organizing committee within a week of the submission (there is no formal deadline). Accepted papers will be posted on the workshop website. We recommend papers to be no more than 4 pages long, following the CHI Extended Abstract format).

Submissions will be reviewed according to: fit with the workshop topic, and potential to contribute to the workshop goals. Alternate submission arrangements may be possible (such as the showcasing of papers previously accepted at other conferences).

Diversity and Inclusion Considerations
We want to bring together researchers and experts across the globe from HCI (particularly focused on mobile and conversational design), Computer Science (e.g., voice and language processing), Sociology (Gerontology), and age-inclusive computing. We will welcome research, practitioners from both industry and academia, as well as representative users, ensuring a diverse attendance. We will particularly welcome contributions from students and early career researchers (acknowledging the role conference workshop play in supporting the training and career development needs of these attendees), as well as contributions highlighting the intersectional aspects of our research space, e.g. focusing on dimensions such as gender, socio-economic background, race, etc. as factors that are integral to the aging process.

Organizers

SAYAN SARCAR 

Birmingham City University, UK

COSMIN MUNTEANU 

University of Waterloo, Canada

JAISIE SIN 

University of British Columbia, Canada

CHRISTINA WEI

University of Toronto, Canada

SERGIO SAYAGO

Universitat de Lleida, Spain

WEI ZHAO

University of Melbourne, Australia

JENNY WAYCOTT

University of Melbourne, Australia

Logistics

Format and outcomes

The workshop is proposed as a half-day in-person workshop (with the possibility for a full-day agenda depending on the conference scheduling restrictions). The first half of the workshop will discuss case studies, position papers, short research papers, and provocations presented by researchers and industry practitioners; and the second half will consist of group discussions focused on the high-level workshop themes. The workshop will conclude with a review of the current state of the research within this space, and propose future research steps and areas of investigation. The key takeaways of this workshop are (1) understanding the current state of this emerging research field and (2) identifying the major issues and future directions. As a practical outcome, we will explore the editorship of a special edition HCI journal.

Agenda

To be announced shortly before the workshop.

Location

The workshop is held at the MobileHCI 2024 Conference. Local arrangements will be announced before the workshop / conference.

Submit / Participate / Contact Us

If you are interested in submitted a position paper, please email it to us. We welcome ongoing submissions and will notify authors within one week of receiving the submission. We encourage interested attendees to submit position papers with at least one week before the MobileHCI conference early bird registration date (submission past that date will also be considered).

If you are interested in participating without a paper, please email us with a short expression of interest (1 paragraph) detailing your interest and/or alignment with the workshop topics.

Please use "MobileHCI2024 Age-inclusive workshop" in the email subject line.

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