Texas A&M University hosted the Association for Computing Machinery’s (ACM) conference on Intelligent User Interfaces (IUI 2021) virtually from April 13 to April 17, 2021. This annual conference serves as a premier international forum for reporting outstanding research and development on intelligent user interfaces. ACM IUI is where the Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) community meets the Artificial Intelligence (AI) community. The sponsors for this year’s conference were Texas A&M University, Texas A&M College of Engineering, Institute for Engineering Education & Innovation, Sketch Recognition Lab, Google, Microsoft, Multimodal Technologies and Interaction, and Science Robotics.
Intelligent User Interfaces for AI technologies are becoming increasingly important with the greater adoption of machine learning and other AI applications. Assimilating AI into user interfaces and merging refined user-centered design with the representation, perception, and recognition that AI has to offer makes the future of AI seem brighter as well.
The IUI 2021 General Chair was Dr. Tracy Hammond, Director of the Institute for Engineering Education & Innovation and Professor of Computer Science at Texas A&M University. Dr. Katrien Verbert, KU Leuven, and Dr. Dennis Parra, Pontifical Catholic University of Chile, were the Co-Chairs.
Dr. Hammond said, “All of our planning committee members did a stellar job in making sure the conference was both scientifically productive and an enjoyable time for everyone.”
This year’s conference was attended by about 545 students, researchers, industry professionals, and academics from at least 32 countries. There were guided yoga lessons every morning, before the conference’s main sessions, and online games in the evening. This year’s poster and demonstration session was hosted on the Gather virtual platform, a video-calling space that uses a virtual space reminiscent of 8-bit arcade games to allow participants to explore interactive environments. This was just one of the ways the organizers tried to make the virtual conference feel more welcoming. Despite the big numbers, it was easy enough for participants to meet and talk to each other through the several Zoom breakout rooms and social/fun sessions.
There were four keynote speakers, including:
- Dr. Meredith Morris, Director of the People + AI Research (PAIR) Google research team, whose talk was titled “Accessibility as an Opportunity and Challenge for Intelligent User Interfaces.”
- Dr. Juan Gilbert, the Computer & Information Science & Engineering Department Chair at the University of Florida, whose talk was titled “Equitable AI: Using AI to Achieve Diversity in Admissions.”
- Dr. Andrea G. Parker, Associate Professor from Georgia Tech, whose talk was titled “Achieving Health Equity: The Power & Pitfalls of Intelligent Interfaces.”
- Dr. Kwan-Liu Ma, Distinguished Professor at the University of California, Davis, whose talk was titled “Intelligent Visualization Interfaces.”
Each year, the IUI organizing committee acknowledges one past IUI paper that had the most impact and highest visibility since being published. This year, the committee selected: “Principles of Explanatory Debugging to Personalize Interactive Machine Learning’’ by Todd Kulesza, Margaret Burnett, Wengkeen Wong, and Simone Stumpf for the best impact paper award.
This year there were 241 paper submissions, 64 papers accepted with a 26.6% acceptance rate. The best paper award went to “ProtoAI: Model-Informed Prototyping for AI-Powered Interfaces” by Eytan Adar, Colleen M. Seifert, and Hariharan Subramonyam from the University of Michigan. The 9 posters, 12 demonstrations and 9 student consortium posters were presented on the space station themed Gather interactive meeting space.
A diversity and inclusion panel spoke about what the IUI community can do to improve inclusivity and diversity in the IUI community and the IUI Town Hall consisted of detailed suggestions and ideas on how to move forward.
The first day of the conference consisted of tutorials and workshops, including a 3-hour tutorial on ‘’Human-Centered AI: Reliable, Safe and Trustworthy’’ by Ben Schneiderman that was live streamed with over 1,000 attendees. The tutorial proposed a new synthesis method in which Artificial Intelligence (AI) algorithms are combined with human-centered thinking to make Human-Centered AI (HCAI). The other tutorials were “ModelGenGUIs – High-level Interaction Design with Discourse Models for Automated GUI Generation,” “Conversational Recommendation Systems,” and “VisRec: A Hands-on Tutorial on Deep Learning for Visual Recommender Systems.”
Seven workshops were available for free to all attendees, including: “Theoretical and Methodological Challenges in Intelligent Conversational User Interface Interactions,” “Fourth Workshop on Exploratory Search and Interactive Data Analytics,” “Second Workshop on Human-AI Co-Creation with Generative Models,” “Healthy Interfaces,” “Transparency and Explainability in Adaptive Systems through User Modeling Grounded in Psychological Theory,” “SOcial and Cultural IntegrAtion with PersonaLIZEd Interfaces (SOCIALIZE)” and “Transparency and Explanations in Smart Systems.”
IUI 2022 is scheduled to take place in Helsinki, Finland from March 23 to 26, 2022.