Distinguished Lecture - Digital Reflections: Impressions of a Quantified World

Location: 2150 Torgersen Hall
Date: Friday, October 18, 2013
Time:  11:15-12:30pm
This talk is open to the general public.


Bo Begole
Sr. Director, UX Innovations Lab, Samsung Research America
CS@VT Alumnus



Early visions of "Context-Aware" computing, introduced nearly 20 years ago, have fully come to pass. Today's consumer-grade computers regularly sense properties of physical context including outdoor location, proximity to objects, user motion and more. New sensors are pushing ever higher fidelity and enabling new capabilities like detecting indoor location, cognitive activity and emotional state. Users' increasing willingness to share their activities with others also provides a rich source of information about social context. While many of the technical challenges of "context-aware computing" appear very nearly solved, there remain challenges in making the technologies more useful and acceptable. Some challenges, like making sense of data and concerns over invasions of privacy, can have no technical solution but can be mitigated through user experience (UX) designs that give users insight and control. Other challenges that arise from the inherent limitations of machine inferencing, such as innacuracies and latencies of probabilisticly derived inferences, can be alleviated through interaction designs that emulate human conversation repair mechanisms used to alleviate similar breakdowns in human inferencing.

In this talk, I will reflect on a series of research projects that quantify human behavior and introduce a framework of "Contextual Intelligence" to bridge the gap between what users want and what future context-sensing technologies will be capable of delivering.

Dr. Bo Begole is a Sr. Director at Samsung Research America's User Experience Center in San Jose, CA where he directs a team to develop new products and services in consumer electronics. Previous to that, he was a Principal Scientist and Area Manager at Xerox PARC where he directed the Ubiquitous Computing research program creating novel solutions in predictive recommendations based on user behavior and activity, responsive media, digital mirrors and other innovations, many of which have been commercialized. He holds 20 issued patents and dozens pending. He has spoken at several industry conferences, delivered many press interviews, co-authored dozens of peer-reviewed publications and is the author of Ubiquitous Computing for Business. He is active in the organization of several conferences in the field of human-computer interaction and is chair of the ACM's 2015 conference on human factors in computing systems (CHI 2015) in Seoul, S. Korea. Dr. Begole received a Ph.D. in computer science from Virginia Tech in 1998. Prior to his studies, he was enlisted in the US Army as an Arabic language interpreter.