human-computer confluence

A couple of weeks ago I came across the English word confluence. The Oxford dictionary informs me that this means “the junction of two rivers, esp. rivers of approximately equal width”. That sounds very poetic, and it gets even better when you combine it with humans and computers, as they have done in the call for FP7 FET projects:

The initiative aims to investigate and demonstrate new possibilities emerging at the confluence between the human and technological realms. It will examine new modalities for individual and group perception, actions and experience in augmented, virtual spaces. Such virtual spaces would span the virtual reality continuum, also extending to purely synthetic but believable representation of massive, complex and dynamic data. Human-Computer confluence fosters inter-disciplinary research (such as Presence, neuro-science, machine learning and computer science) towards delivering unified experiences and inventing radically new forms of perception/action.

What started out as computer-human interaction (CHI), later to be renamed human-computer interaction (HCI), now goes in the direction of human-computer confluence. Sounds like we are going in the right direction. Now we just need to fill the words with some meaning.

Published by


Alexander Refsum Jensenius is a music researcher and research musician living in Oslo, Norway.