BIS Seminar: Professor Shirley Gregor

15 June, 2018 - 10:30 to 12:00
General Purpose North Building (39A), BEL Boardroom, level 3

A Theory of Communication Strategies for Intelligent Systems

Continuing advances in technology mean an increase in the sophistication of interactions between humans and machines. There is a continuing need for effective intelligent system interfaces (ISI) that enable a knowledge dialogue between humans and today’s smart machines that offer both opportunities and threats to organizations and society. The importance of ISI has been recognized since the early days of decision support systems and they have ongoing significance in applications including recommendation agents, advanced analytics, conversational agents, and social robots. Despite the importance of ISI, the related research remains scattered and the potential for integrating and systemizing knowledge across different forms of ISI has not been sufficiently realized. New forms of ISI are being developed without the benefit of lessons from the past or from experiences with other members of the same class of systems. Thus, the goal of the current work is to initiate development of a Theory of Communication Strategies for Intelligent Systems (CommSIS) that shows how similar communication strategies can be pursued to achieve similar goals across intelligent system interfaces as a class of systems. The goals to be achieved include effectiveness, influence, manipulation, compliance with norms, agreement, transparency and user affective responses including trust. CommSIS is based on a framework from Habermas’ Theory of Communicative Action complemented by a synthesis of empirical studies. The paper has theoretical significance in that it is an initial step in design theorizing that integrates knowledge, past and present, for an important class of systems. The establishment of this theory allows for the comparison of ISI strategies of different types and their potential for achieving desired goals. The design principles developed in the theory provide a fertile base for the design of ISI in future research and practice.

Professor Shirley Gregor

Shirley Gregor is a Professor of Information Systems in the College of Business and Economics (CBE) at the Australian National University. She is also a co-Director of the National Centre for Information Systems Research. Her current research interests include intelligent systems, human-computer interaction, the innovative and strategic use of information and communications technologies, and the philosophy of science and technology. She has published in outlets such as MIS Quarterly, Journal of Management Information Systems, Journal of the Association of Information Systems, International Journal of Electronic Commerce, European Journal of Information Systems and Information Technology & People. She was a Senior Editor for MIS Quarterly 2008-2010 and was Editor-in-Chief for the Journal of the Association of Information Systems from 2010 to 2013. Professor Gregor was made an Officer of the Order of Australia in June 2005. Also in 2005 she was elected as a Fellow of the Australian Computer Society. In 2010 she was made a Fellow of the Association for Information Systems. In 2017 she was honoured with a Lifetime Achievement Award in Design Science.