Computational Media

Computational media have, in the very least, increased the possibilities of expression, reception of information and interaction.

In doing so, computer and its descendants redefined the way in which we think about the aforementioned terms. Whereas computational media lend themselves to varied usage, I will only talk about computational media with regards to interactive experiences.

In his book “The Art of Interactive Design” (2000) Chris Crawford identifies listening, thinking, and speaking as core components of what we call an interaction. To describe the term ‘interaction’ Crawford thus uses verbs that represent basic human activities. In doing so the author reveals the context in which we normally use the term. Interactions were never limited to human beings, yet until recently humans stood alone in our ability to engage in complex interactions. Our monopoly on interactions is now over. Machines are able to listen and process as well as output information to an increasingly high degree of complexity.

The question arises whether the increased power of machines is something we should be comfortable with or something we should cower from. While I do not have the answer to the pertinent question I do approve of human-machine interactions. As social animals we crave for meaningful interactions regardless of the agent we interact with. More important than the agent is the quality of the interaction. Given the complexity of interactions machines are able to engage in I believe computational media are enriching the way we interact with the outside world.

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