Paul M. Aoki

University of California, Berkeley, Berkeley, California, United States

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Publications (59)2.61 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: As sensing technologies become increasingly distributed and democ- ratized, citizens and novice users are becoming responsible for the kinds of data collection and analysis that have traditionally been the purview of professional scientists and analysts. Leveraging this citizen engagement effectively, however, requires not only tools for sensing and data collection but also mecha- nisms for understanding and utilizing input from both novice and expert stake- holders. When successful, this process can result in actionable findings that leverage and engage community members and build on their experiences and observations. We explored this process of knowledge production through sev- eral dozen interviews with novice community members, scientists, and regula- tors as part of the design of a mobile air quality monitoring system. From these interviews, we derived design principles and a framework for describing data collection and knowledge generation in citizen science settings, culminating in the user-centered design of a system for community analysis of air quality data. Unlike prior systems, ours breaks analysis tasks into discrete mini-applications designed to facilitate and scaffold novice contributions. An evaluation we con- ducted with community members in an area with air quality concerns indicates that these mini-applications help participants identify relevant phenomena and generate local knowledge contributions.
    Pervasive Computing, 8th International Conference, Pervasive 2010, Helsinki, Finland, May 17-20, 2010. Proceedings; 01/2010
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    ABSTRACT: We present results from a qualitative study examining how professionals living and working in Nairobi, Kenya regularly use ICT in their everyday lives. There are two contributions of this work for the HCI community. First, we provide empirical evidence demonstrating constraints our participants encountered when using technology in an infrastructure-poor setting. These constraints are limited bandwidth, high costs, differing perceptions of responsiveness, and threats to physical and virtual security. Second, we use our findings to critically evaluate the "access, anytime and anywhere" construct shaping the design of future technologies. We present an alternative vision called deliberate interactions—a planned and purposeful interaction style that involves offline preparation—and discuss ways ICT can support this online usage behavior. Author Keywords HCI4D, Kenya, urban computing, everyday technology
    Proceedings of the 28th International Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, CHI 2010, Atlanta, Georgia, USA, April 10-15, 2010; 01/2010
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    ABSTRACT: In this chapter, we argue for the mutual relevance of media space and mobile communications researches. Surveying the two literatures, we note that the findings of media space research are often echoed by later mobile communication research and discuss some of the ideas they hold in common. However, mobile phones are used in a more diverse environment, both organizationally and physically. As such, research on mobile communication can be seen as not only building upon, but also significantly extending media space research. We discuss a few cases where this is true, as well as our own attempts to explore these connections through design and prototyping.
    06/2009: pages 287-301;
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    Paul M. Aoki, John C. Tang
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    ABSTRACT: The development of the media space implementations drew on art installations and architectural conceptions of spatiality for initial inspiration. However, discussions of the impact of media spaces have always included social responses and implica¬tions as well. As Bly, Harrison, and Irwin (1993) noted: The people participating in the media space have the greatest influence on the ways in which it will be used. The ways of working that people bring to a media space and create in that space can vary greatly. However, characteristics of the setting and the technology are also important in how a media space is used and what it becomes. We consider the setting to include the individuals using the technology, the relationships among these individuals, and their activities. The notion that a media space must be understood as embedded in a setting, or a technosocial situation (Ito and Okabe, 2005) that is largely socially defined is now often rendered in shorthand: “media spaces connect people.” The above passage highlights this point, and also reminds us to keep in mind each of the individual elements — individuals, relationships, and activities — that relate a media space to the people who use it.
    06/2009: pages 17-26;
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    ABSTRACT: This paper examines two parallel case studies to promote remote medical consultation in Ghana. These projects, initiated independently by different researchers in different organizations, both deployed ICT solutions in the same medical community in the same year. The Ghana Consultation Network currently has over 125 users running a Web-based application over a delay-tolerant network of servers. OneTouch MedicareLine is currently providing 1700 doctors in Ghana with free mobile phone calls and text messages to other members of the medical community. We present the consequences of (1) the institutional context and identity of the investigators, as well as specific decisions made with respect to (2) partnerships formed, (3) perceptions of technological infrastructure, and (4) high-level design decisions. In concluding, we discuss lessons learned and high-level implications for future ICTD research agendas.
    Information and Communication Technologies and Development (ICTD), 2009 International Conference on; 05/2009
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    M.R. Ho, E.K. Owusu, P.M. Aoki
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    ABSTRACT: Claim Mobile is a platform designed to support a project that subsidizes healthcare by reimbursing health service providers in Uganda for treatment of patients with sexually transmitted infections. As with many development projects, the Uganda Output-Based Aid (OBA) project involves a number of stakeholders: the service providers, the project implementers, the financiers, and the Ugandan government. Design of an appropriate solution requires meeting the various and conflicting requirements of all of these stakeholders. In this paper we detail the rapid design and testing of a pilot implementation of a mobile and web-based system for processing claims forms, based on two prior field visits to Uganda. Based on a comparative device study, semi-structured interviews, health clinic surveys, and a brief deployment, we affirm the selection of the mobile phone as a platform from the health clinic perspective, and further suggest that effective design for development requires more than addressing requirements of the the ¿users¿ of the mobile phones but also all the other stakeholders involved, who may have conflicting requirements.
    Information and Communication Technologies and Development (ICTD), 2009 International Conference on; 05/2009
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    ABSTRACT: Researchers are developing mobile sensing platforms to facilitate public awareness of environmental conditions. However, turning such awareness into practical community action and political change requires more than just collecting and presenting data. To inform research on mobile environmental sensing, we conducted design fieldwork with government, private, and public interest stakeholders. In parallel, we built an environmental air quality sensing system and deployed it on street sweeping vehicles in a major U.S. city; this served as a "research vehicle" by grounding our interviews and affording us status as environmental action researchers. In this paper, we present a qualitative analysis of the landscape of environmental action, focusing on insights that will help researchers frame meaningful technological interventions. Comment: 10 pages
    05/2009;
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    ABSTRACT: Poor air quality is a global health issue, causing serious problems like asthma, cancer, and heart disease around the world. Earlier this decade, the World Health Organization estimated that three million people die each year from the effects of air pollution [6]. Unfortunately, while variations in air quality are significant, today's air quality monitors are very sparsely deployed. To address this visibility gap, the Common Sense project is developing participatory sensing systems that allow individuals to measure their personal exposure, groups to aggregate their members' exposure, and activists to mobilize grassroots community action.
    Proceedings of the 7th International Conference on Embedded Networked Sensor Systems, SenSys 2009, Berkeley, California, USA, November 4-6, 2009; 01/2009
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    Rowena Luk, Melissa Ho, Paul M. Aoki
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    ABSTRACT: All of the countries within Africa experience a serious shortage of medical professionals, particularly specialists, a problem that is only exacerbated by high emigration of doctors with better prospects overseas. As a result, those that remain in Africa, particularly those practicing in rural regions, experience a shortage of specialists and other colleagues with whom to exchange ideas. Telemedicine and teleconsultation are key areas that attempt to address this problem by leveraging remote expertise for local problems. This paper presents an overview of teleconsultation in the developing world, with a particular focus on how lessons learned apply to Africa. By teleconsultation, we are addressing non-real-time communication between health care professionals for the purposes of providing expertise and informal recommendations, without the real-time, interactive requirements typical of diagnosis and patient care, which is impractical for the vast majority of existing medical practices. From these previous experiences, we draw a set of guidelines and examine their relevance to Ghana in particular. Based on 6 weeks of needs assessment, we identify key variables that guide our framework, and then illustrate how our framework is used to inform the iterative design of a prototype system.
    02/2008;
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    Rowena Luk, Melissa Ho, Paul M. Aoki
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    ABSTRACT: Computer-mediated communication systems can be used to bridge the gap between doctors in underserved regions with local shortages of medical expertise and medical specialists worldwide. To this end, we describe the design of a prototype remote consultation system intended to provide the social, institutional and infrastructural context for sustained, self-organizing growth of a globally-distributed Ghanaian medical community. The design is grounded in an iterative design process that included two rounds of extended design fieldwork throughout Ghana and draws on three key design principles (social networks as a framework on which to build incentives within a self-organizing network; optional and incremental integration with existing referral mechanisms; and a weakly-connected, distributed architecture that allows for a highly interactive, responsive system despite failures in connectivity). We discuss initial experiences from an ongoing trial deployment in southern Ghana.
    02/2008;
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    ABSTRACT: In this paper, we report on design-oriented fieldwork and design research conducted over a six-month period in urban centers in the United States and Kenya. The contributions of this work for the CHI/CSCW community are empirical and methodological. First, we describe how recent design discourse around "designing technology for religion" creates an artificial distinction between instrumental and religious ICT use, particularly in developing regions. As illustrative examples, we relate three themes developed in the course of our fieldwork, which we term mindfulness, watchfulness, and embeddedness, to both "secular" and "religious" aspects of life in the communities studied. Second, we make a methodological contribution by describing how we used design sketches of speculative design concepts to extend and complement our fieldwork. By producing these sketches and soliciting feedback, we elicited additional data about how participants viewed the relationship between religion and ICT and prompted self- reflection on our own ideas. Author Keywords Domestic technology, religious technology, sketching
    Proceedings of the 2008 Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, CHI 2008, 2008, Florence, Italy, April 5-10, 2008; 01/2008
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    Paul M. Aoki
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    ABSTRACT: While tactical command. control and communication environments might appear to be entirely instrumental in nature, they nevertheless provide a setting for social interaction. This paper describes how such interaction occurs in a particular naval tactical command and control system, focusing on the shared perspectives created by the organizational, administrative and professional aspects of the environment and on issues of self-presentation. It is argued that the complexity and multiplicity of interactional regions in this environment lead to problematic situations for key actors, and that these problems may have relevance to future computing environments. Author Keywords Command, control and communication; tactical data systems; social worlds; self-presentation.
    Proceedings of the 2007 Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, CHI 2007, San Jose, California, USA, April 28 - May 3, 2007; 01/2007
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    Melissa Ho, Rowena Luk, Paul M Aoki
    01/2007;
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    Paul M. Aoki, Rowena Luk
    01/2007;
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    ABSTRACT: Spontaneous multi-party interaction -- conversation among groups of three or more participants -- is part of daily life. While automated modeling of such interactions has received increased attention in ubiquitous computing research, there is little applied research on the organization of this highly dynamic and spontaneous sociable interaction within small groups. We report here on an applied conversation analytic study of small-group sociable talk, emphasizing structural and temporal aspects that can inform computational models. In particular, we examine the mechanics of multiple simultaneous conversational floors -- how participants initiate a new floor amidst an on-going floor, and how they subsequently show their affiliation with one floor over another. We also discuss the implications of these findings for the design of "smart" multi-party applications.
    Proceedings of the 2006 20th anniversary conference on Computer supported cooperative work; 11/2006
  • 01/2006;
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    Paul M. Aoki, Allison Woodruff
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    ABSTRACT: Pervasive personal communication technologies offer the potential for important social benefits for individual users, but also the potential for significant social difficulties and costs. In research on face-to-face social interaction, ambiguity is often identified as an important resource for resolving social difficulties. In this paper, we discuss two design cases of personal communication systems, one based on fieldwork of a commercial system and another based on an unrealized design concept. The cases illustrate how user behavior concerning a particular social difficulty, unexplained unresponsiveness, can be influenced by technological issues that result in interactional ambiguity. The cases also highlight the need to balance the utility of ambiguity against the utility of usability and communicative clarity.
    08/2005;
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    Allison Woodruff, Paul M. Aoki
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    ABSTRACT: We provide two case studies in the application of ideas drawn from conversation analysis to the design of technologies that enhance the experience of human conversation. We first present a case study of the design of an electronic guidebook, focusing on how conversation analytic principles played a role in the design process. We then discuss how the guidebook project has inspired our continuing work in social, mobile audio spaces. In particular, we describe some as yet unrealized concepts for adaptive audio spaces.
    06/2004;
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    Paul M. Aoki, Allison Woodruff
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    ABSTRACT: In current presence or availability systems, the method of presenting a user's state often supposes an instantaneous notion of that state - for example, a visualization is rendered or an inference is made about the potential actions that might be consistent with a user's state. Drawing on observational research on the use of existing communication technology, we argue (as have others in the past) that determination of availability is often a joint process, and often one that takes the form of a negotiation (whether implicit or explicit). We briefly describe our current research on applying machine learning to infer degrees of conversational engagement from observed conversational behavior. Such inferences can be applied to facilitate the implicit negotiation of conversational engagement - in effect, helping users to weave together the act of contact with the act of determining availability.
    06/2004;
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    Chen Yu, Paul M. Aoki, Allison Woodruff
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    ABSTRACT: This paper presents a novel application of speech emotion recognition: estimation of the level of conversational engagement between users of a voice communication system. We begin by using machine learning techniques, such as the support vector machine (SVM), to classify users' emotions as expressed in individual utterances. However, this alone fails to model the temporal and interactive aspects of conversational engagement. We therefore propose the use of a multilevel structure based on coupled hidden Markov models (HMM) to estimate engagement levels in continuous natural speech. The first level is comprised of SVM-based classifiers that recognize emotional states, which could be (e.g.) discrete emotion types or arousal/valence levels. A high-level HMM then uses these emotional states as input, estimating users' engagement in conversation by decoding the internal states of the HMM. We report experimental results obtained by applying our algorithms to the LDC EMO- TIONAL PROSODY and CALLFRIEND speech corpora.
    05/2004;