Human-machine interactions will be instantaneous .

Star war hologram
Star war hologram
Photo by Becky Fantham on Unsplash

Have you ever dreamed of using an awesome device from a science-fiction movie (such as the control board from Star Trek) ? Well, you’re not just dreaming, as science fiction has usually been a great source of inspiration for designers.

According to Shedroff Nathan in Make It So, users have often become familiar with new computer interfaces through filmmakers’ imaginary. By subconsciously influencing the evolution of man-machine interactions, fictional designers have made us gradually adopt next-gen products.

Here are 4 examples of futuristic design that might likely be part of our daily life in a not-so-distant future.

The promising role of sonic interfaces


The power of autonomy and goal-driven products.

Video game arcade board
Video game arcade board
Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

While today’s design movement is based on providing ongoing incentives and rewards, video game designers have always prioritized the user’s motivation and ability to accomplish their goals. They have created game mechanics that encourage them to level up and find internal motivation in the journey.

UX designers have a lot to learn from their work to create products that are less addictive and yet more motivation and rewarding by self-mastery.

Here are 4 examples inspired by video game designers to create products that grow users’ skills and build loyalty to their experience.

Reward-seeking vs skill-acquisition behavior


The superiority of the digital neocortex explained by major computer-scientists.

A guy plugging cables
A guy plugging cables
Photo by ThisisEngineering RAEng on Unsplash

While our brain performs 1⁸ power calculations per second, today’s supercomputers will be able to handle 10¹⁸ power calculations per second. Does this mean that supercomputers already can simulate brains?

The question is obviously more complex; it depends not only on raw power but also on the collaborative power of the neural networks. However, according to Ray Kurzweil in How to Create a Mind, being able to create a functioning cyber neocortex is an inexorable outcome. Bits can travel infinitely faster than neural signals, and this will be of decisive importance.

Here is how computer scientists see the superiority of…


4 behavioral fun-facts about human-machine interactions

A computer screen with a broken smile
A computer screen with a broken smile
Photo by ETA+ on Unsplash

As the human-computer interaction field keeps growing, it has already shown how human psychology can deeply influence user experience. Taking the opposite perspective, Clifford Nass, a communication researcher, has dedicated his last researches to the feelings that users attribute to computers.

Among 4 specific experiments, he wondered how users react to a computer that behaves like a human. Here’s which human traits he found have a greater impact on users.

Users’ like computer praises and compliments


A hand typing on a keyboard
A hand typing on a keyboard
Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

You might be familiar with UX Design, but maybe not with the human-computer interaction field. This academic research field has long been known for closely studying how users handle and control computational interfaces.

What is less known is that the empirical experiments of HCI researchers have largely but quietly inspired the latest and most famous design inventions (no less than the personal computer, software and the mobile interface).

Here are 4 great HCI ideas that have influenced designers to create products that we now know and use every day.

HCI and the birth of Graphical User interface


The decisive contribution of Claude Shannon to computer science

Photo by Valentin Petkov on Unsplash

At the start of the 20th century, researchers and engineers heavily relied on analog devices to create computing machines. They sought to replicate human intelligence by harnessing physical and “natural” forces.

According to Jimmy Soni and Rob Goodman in a Mind at Play, the singularity of Claude Shannon’s work is to have reconsidered computing intelligence from a physical to a quantitative point of view, putting aside the meaning and the physical force behind a message. The theory of information has made it possible to think of human intelligence from its most elementary element, which is that of bits.

Here is…


When “robot trainers” and “data hygienists” will be common place

Photo by Glenn Hansen on Unsplash

With the speed of technological progress, it seems difficult to visualize how much the workplace as we know it will change. Yet, as the application of AI becomes more and more concrete, we are getting a clearer sense of the jobs of the future.

As factories and offices will be filled with smart devices prone to mistakes and bias, they will need skills such as empathy, imagination, and ethics in tomorrow’s economy. According to Paul Daugherty and H. James R. …


Work will be defined by human-machine collaborative skills

An engineer behind his computer
An engineer behind his computer
Photo by Science in HD on Unsplash

There is this recurring theme on how smart technologies will replace human workers in factories and offices. And this fear is justified in many ways: we just have to look at the disruptive innovations in the financial and industrial sectors.

But by opposing human and artificial skills, we quickly forget how much they need each other to work properly. As Robots, algorithms and autonomous applications in particular are not error-free, they still need workers to teach them how to handle their tasks.

Hence, the need for fusion skills: they enable workers to collaborate optimally with assisting technologies in their job…


Decentralized technologies are more secure and energy-efficient

A phone with trading app and a computer displaying a graph
A phone with trading app and a computer displaying a graph
Photo by Austin Distel on Unsplash

GAFAM businesses (Google, Amazon, Facebook, Apple, Microsoft) are now showing their full supremacy on the web. By providing unlimited computing and data resources through low-cost services, they have conquered the data that fuels their business model.

Yet, according to George Gilder in The Life After Google, this model looks structurally energy-intensive and unreliable, based on highly-centralized computers and databases locations. It might be hitting a wall: an ever-growing data consumption marginal cost.

Instead, blockchain technologies are promising open and globally distributed computational resources, which thus offer much better safety and computing power opportunities. …


From reward-based to goal-oriented design.

A VR device user surprised
A VR device user surprised
Photo by Uriel Soberanes on Unsplash

Since the development in the 2000s of user-friendly digital products, software designers have tried to keep their user by bringing them immediate and constant rewards. And this strategy has always been quite effective to quickly scale products.

But by stimulating short-term cognitive motivations, customers can often feel like being stuck in superficial interpretation of their needs. They might want products that they can use and customize to their intentions, that help them set clear goals and achieve deeper aspirations.

Here are 4 stories that show how product design can help users learn, excel and grow in their fields.

The tribalisitic journey of social media users

Jean-marc Buchert

Man + Machine. Learn about human/machine interface and the human skills of the future : https://manplusmachines.com

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