|s researchers and product designers, we are colleagues as well as competitors, creating systems that will support people in their work.
But striking new paradigms, styles of working with computers that
could shape the whole field, are usually "in the air" long before they
mature and become accepted. We are often working on parts of what will
turn out to be a shared vision. The history of people using innovations
predicts irregular progress. A "wonderful" new tool is envisioned: some try
to create it, some find it not useful and some improve it. The cycle repeats.
A year ago we were concerned that people might not be able to afford
Internet access. Many communities have one megabit communications at cable
TV prices and companies are even giving users supercomputing PC's for free.
After decades of skepticism AI is showing up in products. Toys now like
Furbie and Friend Link are driven by Adaptive User Models (AUM). Many
serious web sites now change with customer experience.
We used to think the best innovation didn't get rewarded. Scientists are now
known for the killer products, best seller books and organizations they build.
How do we as an informal community of innovators choose our projects?
Which paradigms for using computers succeed?
How do we nurture
emerging paradigms before they are ready for widespread acceptance?