Bionic Human-Machine Interaction
Helen Meng, Chinese University Hong Kong

Bionics is a vastly interdisciplinary enterprise that draws inspirations from nature for engineering designs and technology development. Illustrative examples abound, ranging from automobile design, material science, to impressions from science fiction. This talk presents a characterization of bionic human-machine interfaces, in terms of (1) mimicking human forms; (2) supporting human-like functions and (3) augmenting human physical and cognitive abilities. We will present examples drawn from a diversity of recent technological developments. Machines have adopted human forms in the development of humanoid robots and software avatars. In addition, machines are able to “recognize” users based on their biometric measurements, as well as “understand” users through their speech and gestures. Furthermore, human physical and cognitive abilities may be extended through the functions of the machine. Examples may be found in prosthetics and the use of technologies to expand human memory or enhance our language skills. This talk concludes with some challenges in bionic human-computer interaction and suggests possible directions for further developments.

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