AGI is Coming... Is HCI Ready?

Meredith Ringel Morris
FSC2330, Hybrid

Join us on January 17th 2023, as Meredith Ringel Morris presents "AGI is Coming... is HCI Ready?"


We are at a transformational junction in computing, in the midst of an explosion in capabilities of foundational AI models that may soon match or exceed typical human abilities for a wide variety of cognitive tasks, a milestone often termed Artificial General Intelligence (AGI). Achieving AGI (or even closely approaching it) will transform computing, with ramifications permeating through all aspects of society. This is a critical moment not only for Machine Learning research, but also for the field of Human-Computer Interaction (HCI).

In this talk, I will define what I mean (and what I do NOT mean) by “AGI” (and related concepts, like superintelligence), and my journey from AGI skeptic to believing we are within a decade of reaching this milestone. I will then discuss how this new era of computing necessitates a new sociotechnical research agenda on methods and interfaces for studying and interacting with AGI. For instance, how can we extend status quo design and prototyping methods for envisioning novel experiences at the limits of our current imaginations? What novel interaction modalities might AGI enable (e.g., high-bandwidth neural interfaces)? How do we create interfaces for computing systems that may intentionally or unintentionally deceive an end-user? How do we bridge the “gulf of evaluation” when a system may arrive at an answer through methods that fundamentally differ from human mental models, or that may be too complex for an individual user to grasp? How do we evaluate technologies that may have unanticipated systemic side-effects on society when released into the wild?

I will close by reflecting on the relationship between HCI and AI research. Typically, HCI and other sociotechnical domains are not considered as core to the ML research community as areas like model building. However, I argue that research on Human-AI Interaction and the societal impacts of AI is vital and central to this moment in computing history. HCI must not become a “second class citizen” to AI, but rather be recognized as fundamental to ensuring the path to AGI and beyond is a beneficial one.

Event directions

DFP Classroom 2300A (2nd Floor), Forestry Science Centre, 2424 Main Mall.

Once you are inside the Forestry Science building, walk to the rear (South-East) of the building and pass through the large open study area then up the stairs to the 2nd floor student lounge (“Treetop”) area. Turn left, pass through a double door and the room 2300A is the first on the right.