abuse: the darker side of hci

„Abuse: the darker side of human-computer interaction‰
An INTERACT 2005 Workshop
Date: Monday, September 12 (Full day)
Location: Rome, Italy
Submission Deadline: extended to May 30
Web-site: www.agentabuse.org

Computers are often the subject of our wrath and often, we feel,
with good reason. There seems to be something intrinsic to this
medium which brings out the darker side of human nature. This may
be due to the computer complexity which induces errors and
frustrations in the user (bad interface design), to the human
tendency to respond socially to computers (media equation), or to a
disinhibition effect induced by the interaction with a different
form of information processor, perceived as inferior (master/slave

As software is evolving from the tool metaphor to the agent one,
understanding the role of abusive behaviour in HCI and its effect on
the task-at-hand becomes increasingly important. The reaction of
traditional software to abuse is obvious – it should, like a hammer,
ignore it. With the agent model, however, software can be
autonomous and situated. That is, it should be possible to create
software that takes note of its surroundings, and responsibility for
its actions. Conversational agents are a clear case of a software
entity which might be expected to deal with abuse. Virtual
assistants, to take a classic application instance, should not just
provide timely information; a virtual assistant must also be a
social actor and participate in the games people play. Some of
these games appear to include abusive behaviour.

This workshop aims to bring together papers that transcend
disciplinary boundaries. Papers are solicited from researchers and
practitioners who have encountered the occurrence of abuse in HCI
and CMC and given some thought to why and how it happens. Papers
that explore virtual abuse and the abuse of agents as cultural
artifacts are particularly welcome. We hope this will provide a
forum for discussing both the reasons behind aggressive behaviour
and suggestions for how software should deal with abuse.

Relevant topics include but are not limited to
* determinants and correlates of end user frustration
* emotional reactions to computing technology
* emotional interfaces ˆ how to deal with negative emotions
* conversational agents and abusive language
* conflict resolution in face-to-face communication and CMC
* flaming and disinhibition in HCI and CMC
* art on the edge
* relationship of the virtual and the real, the literal and metaphor
* Outing, passing, hiding, covering — how are agents designed to seem
and what are the assumptions about “being human” that inform the design

The workshop will bring together an interdisciplinary group of
researchers and practitioners in human computer interaction,
computer mediated communication, intelligent virtual agents, game
design, social psychology, cultural critics and art. The program
will feature the presentation of refereed papers, demos and poster
followed by interactive sessions drawn on a number of scenarios
which will be distributed prior to the workshop. A part of the
discussion will concentrate on the definition of a roadmap for
future research.

We seek:
– Position papers (4 pages) reporting on experiences, theories, case
studies and experiments.
– Theoretical papers (4 pages) discussing cultural, artistic,
political, and philosophical issues.
– Demo submissions (4 pages).
– Poster submission (1 page description of the poster or 1 page
sketch of the poster)

Position and theoretical papers as well as demo submissions will be
peer reviewed and should be formatted according to the LNCS (Lecture
Notes in Computer Science) format (templates are available at
Springer-Verlag LNCS Authors‚ Instructions page and at
www.Interact2005.org at the Submission page ).

Please e-mail your submission in PDF to
(cc pwallis@acm.org)

Accepted papers will appear in the workshop proceedings and will be
posted on the web (www.agentabuse.org). Outcomes of the workshop
will be summarised and posted on agentabuse.org, which is intended
to become a dynamic repository for relevant research. If enough
interest is gathered from the participants, we will explore
alternatives such as a special journal issue or a book collection.

May 23: submission
June 6: Notification of acceptance
June 10: Registration dead-line for presenters
July 1: camera ready copies
September 12: workshop

Registration will cost 150 Euro before June 10 and 200 Euro after
this date. Participants will register through the conference
website (http://www.interact2005.org/).

Sheryl Brahnam (Missouri State University), US
Antonella De Angeli (University of Manchester), UK
Peter Wallis (University of Sheffield), UK

Programme Committee
Pamela Briggs (Northumbria University), UK
Alan Dix (Lancaster University), UK
Dirk Heylen (University of Twente), Holland
Graham Johnson (NCR), UK
Catherine Pelachaud (Universite de Paris 8), France
Daniela Petrelli (University of Sheffield), UK
Laurent Romary (INRIA), France
Daniela Romano (University of Sheffield), UK
Oliviero Stock (IRST), Italy
Alistair Sutcliffe (University of Manchester), UK
Sean Zdenek (Texas Tech University), US
Yorick Wilks (University of Sheffield), UK

Contact Information.
For information, expressions of interest and/or submission please
Antonella De Angeli
Centre for Human-Computer Interaction Design
School of Informatics, the University of Manchester,
M60 1QD
United Kingdom