Famous Authors To Speak At Conference On Computers And The Future


From Business Wire (February 18, 1997)

by Rosemary Wick Stevens

Douglas Coupland, author of "Generation X" and "microserfs" is an invited speaker at CHI 97, the premier worldwide conference on computer-human interaction.

Coupland popularized the term "X Generation" with his first book and has lately begun commenting on the cult of the computer in modern life. He will offer his insights into the effects of computers, cyberspace and other high technologies on our lives.

Coupland brings an unusual perspective to the traditional human-computer interaction community. He is an experienced computer user with a fine arts background.

Coupland notes that computers have been oversold to the general public; and that new technologies, such as the internet and world wide web, will end up having unintended consequences on society. As an outsider to the mainstream HCI community, he will comment on the field in ways that may also have unintended consequences.

Sharing the spotlight at the conference is a second invited speaker, Rick Prelinger, president of Prelinger Archives and author of a recently released 12 CD-ROM set entitled Our Secret Century.

Prelinger will open the conference by examining the historical roots of our current perceptions of how we should interact with computers in a presentation titled "Utopia Appropriated: The Future as it Was."

In many instances, users thought that interactions with machines would be more magical: that there would be an end to routine housework, temporal and spatial limitations would be abolished, and that "thinking" machines would be commonplace.

Prelinger will document the history of these ideas and examine how they have influenced our expectations of the designers of current machinery and appliances.

The CHI conference features a full program of research presentations, tutorials and vendor exhibits. This annual conference is the premier worldwide forum for the exchange of information on all aspects of how people interact with computers.

This year approximately 2,500 managers, researchers, designers, educators, artists, writers and students join to look into human-computer interaction from March 22-27, 1997, in Atlanta.

CHI 97 is sponsored by the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM)'s Special Interest Group on Computer-Human Interaction (ACM SIGCHI).

The CHI conference is traditionally supported by industry organizations. The CHI 97 corporate sponsors are: Andersen Consulting, Apple Computer, AT&T, Bell South, IBM, Intel, Lucent Technologies, Microsoft, NCR, NYNEX, Oracle, Philips, Rent-a-Computer, Sun Microsystems and Unisys.

For more information, contact the CHI 97 Conference office at 410/263-5382, send e-mail to CHI97-help@acm.org or look at the CHI 97 home page at: http://www.acm.org/sigchi/chi97 .