Symbiotic interaction: A critical definition and comparison to other human-computer paradigms

Giulio Jacucci*, Anna Spagnolli, Jonathan Freeman, Luciano Gamberini

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionScientificpeer-review

    29 Citations (Scopus)


    We propose a definition of symbiotic interaction that is informed by current developments in computing. We clearly distinguish this definition from previous ones and from selected paradigms that address the human-computer relationship. The definition is also informed by a variety of human-centered frameworks in human-computer interaction, including embodied interactions, situationist frameworks, and participatory and work-oriented design perspectives. Symbiotic interactions can be achieved by combining computation, sensing technology, and interaction design to realize deep perception, awareness, and understanding between humans and computers. Important aspects to implement are transparency, reciprocity, and collaborative use of resources for both computers and humans. The symbiotic relationship is also characterized by goals and agency independence of humans and computers. The definition sets the premise to discuss in a critical way future research agendas for symbiotic interactions that are sensitive to human-centered values.

    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationSymbiotic Interaction
    Subtitle of host publicationThird International Workshop, Symbiotic 2014, Helsinki, Finland, October 30-31, 2014, proceedings
    EditorsGiulio Jacucci, Luciano Gamberini, Jonathan Freeman, Anna Spagnolli
    Number of pages18
    ISBN (Electronic)978-3-319-13500-7
    Publication statusPublished - 2014
    MoE publication typeA4 Article in a conference publication

    Publication series

    NameLecture notes in computer science
    ISSN (Print)0302-9743
    ISSN (Electronic)1611-3349


    • Affective computing
    • Embodied interaction
    • Human-computer interaction frameworks
    • Human-computer symbiosis
    • Persuasive technologies
    • Research agenda


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