This Time It's Personal: from PIM to the Perfect Digital Assistant

schraefel, m.c., André, Paul and Van Kleek, Max (2008) This Time It's Personal: from PIM to the Perfect Digital Assistant At CHI2008 PIM Workshop.


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Interacting with digital PIM tools like calendars, to-do lists, address books, bookmarks and so on, is a highly manual, often repetitive and frequently tedious process. Despite increases in memory and processor power over the past two decades of personal computing, not much has changed in the way we engage with such applications. We must still manually decompose frequently performed tasks into multiple smaller, data specific processes if we want to be able to recall or reuse the information in some meaningful way. "Meeting with Yves at 5 in Stata about blah" breaks down into rigid, fixed semantics in separate applications: data to be recorded in calendar fields, address book fields and, as for the blah, something that does not necessarily exist as a PIM application data structure. We argue that a reason Personal Information Management tools may be so manual, and so effectively fragmented, is that they are not personal enough. If our information systems were more personal, that is, if they knew in a manner similar to the way a personal assistant would know us and support us, then our tools would be more helpful: an assistive PIM tool would gather together the necessary material in support of our meeting with Yves. We, therefore, have been investigating the possible paths towards PIM tools as tools that work for us, rather than tools that seemingly make us work for them. To that end, in the following sections we consider how we may develop a framework for PIM tools as "perfect digital assistants" (PDA). Our impetus has been to explore how, by considering the affordances of a Real World personal assistant, we can conceptualize a design framework, and from there a development program for a digital simulacrum of such an assistant that is not for some far off future, but for the much nearer term.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Venue - Dates: CHI2008 PIM Workshop, 2008-04-01
Organisations: Agents, Interactions & Complexity
ePrint ID: 264733
Date :
Date Event
April 2008Published
Date Deposited: 23 Oct 2007
Last Modified: 23 Feb 2017 11:02
Further Information:Google Scholar

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