Citizen-Centered Design, Ambient Intelligence and Cooperative Smart Spaces for All


Our society is challenged by multiple features of digitalization. The implications are reaching far beyond the business arena and will affect everybody's personal life. According to the overall vision and partly realized instantiations, cities are transformed into smart cities, homes into smart homes, cars into smart cars with autonomous driving capabilities. The underlying rationale assumes that all interaction and communication processes can be formalized and mapped to algorithms so that software, in particular Artificial Intelligence (AI) and networked smart artifacts/ Internet of Things (IoT) are able to handle and control our daily environments.

While there are certainly many useful services and improvements of currently deficient situations, especially also in the context of an aging society, it is necessary to reflect on the assumptions and implications of the foreseen ubiquitous diffusion. How much should our everyday, especially urban life depend on smart technologies? How much control should people still have? How about: Smart spaces make people smarter and not more dependent? How can we build smart learning ecosystems that enhance the capabilities of all stakeholders involved?

It is time to redefine the "Smart-Everything" paradigm we are and will be exposed to in our daily activities. An important feature of smart technologies is the intrinsic issue of privacy. Currently discussed mainly in the virtual world of social media and e-commerce, there are even stronger implications for the interaction in the real/ hybrid world of urban and home environments.

It is argued that a citizen-centered design and user experience approach is needed. People must be in the loop and in control of making informed decisions and the learning process. They should be able to decide how much smartness they want in exchange for disclosing their data. The overall goal is to design Humane, Sociable and Cooperative Cities and Homes based on Ambient Intelligence (AmI) instead of non-transparent AI algorithms and full automation. There will be benefits for all, especially also for people with special needs, different learning capabilities and in different age groups. This is reflected in the goals of Universal Design and Ambient Assisted Living (AAL) when building our future living and learning environments.


Norbert Streitz

Dr. Dr. Norbert Streitz (Ph.D. in physics, Ph.D. in cognitive science) is a Senior Scientist and Strategic Advisor with more than 35 years of experience in information and communication technology. Founder and Scientific Director of the Smart Future Initiative launched in 2009. From 1987-2008, he held positions as Deputy Director and Division Manager at the Fraunhofer Institute IPSI, Darmstadt, e.g., founding and managing the research division "AMBIENTE - Smart Environments of the Future". Teaching appointments at the Department of Computer Science, Technical University Darmstadt for more than 15 years. Before Fraunhofer, he was Assistant Professor at the Technical University Aachen (RWTH), where he founded and managed ACCEPT (AaChen Cognitive Ergonomics ProjecT). At different times of his career, he was a post-doc research fellow at the University of California, Berkeley, a visiting scholar at Xerox PARC, Menlo Park, and at the Intelligent Systems Lab of MITI, Tsukuba Science City, Japan.

He has published/edited 25 books and authored/coauthored more than 150 scientific peer-reviewed papers. His research and teaching activities cover a wide range of areas: Cognitive Science, Human-Computer Interaction, Hypertext/Hypermedia, Computer-Supported Cooperative Work (CSCW), Ubiquitous Computing, Artificial Intelligence and Ambient Intelligence, Privacy Enhancing Technologies (Privacy by Design), Interaction and Experience Design, Hybrid Worlds, Autonomous Driving, Smart Cities and Smart Airports.

Principal Investigator and Manager of many projects funded by the European Commission (EC) (e.g., Disappearing Computer Initiative, Ambient Agoras, Towards the Humane City, …) and by industrial and public national and international funding agencies. Reviewer and evaluation expert for the EC, member of Editorial Boards (e.g., Journal of Ambient Intelligence and Smart Environments) and Advisory Boards of research institutes in Europe and Asia, consultant, and keynote speaker.

He has been organizing many conferences as general or program chair during his long career. During the last six years, he is the program chair (now together with Shin'ichi Konomi) of the International Conference on Distributed, Ambient and Pervasive Interactions (DAPI), now in its sixth edition as DAPI 2018.