Shabnam FakhrHosseini Presents on Framework of Home Automation at HCI Conference

by Adam Felts

AgeLab Postdoctoral Associate Shabnam FakhrHosseini presented a paper on home automation at the 22nd International Human Computer Interaction Conference.

Titled “Home as a Platform: Levels of Automation for Connected Home Services” and co-authored by Drs. Chaiwoo Lee and Joseph Coughlin, the paper helps to establish the theoretical underpinnings of the AgeLab’s C3 Home Logistics Consortium.

In her presentation, Dr. FakhrHosseini outlined a framework for home taxonomy and levels of automation. Drawing on previous descriptions of automation for computer systems, aviation, and self-driving cars, the framework describes increasing levels of automation in the home, ranging from “level 1” homes equipped with common electrical appliances to imagined “level 5” homes in the distant future that involve sophisticated robotic systems. Between these two poles are levels of automation characterized by an increasing presence of smart devices, the deployment of artificial intelligence to coordinate between connected objects in the home, and the extension of the home into the community and outside environment.

The benefits of such a taxonomy for home automation, Dr. FakhrHosseini said, include developing a common ground for discussion of the future of the home, providing direction for industry innovation, promoting consumer understanding, and forging distinctions that can be employed by actors in policymaking and law.

Originally planned to be held in Copenhagen, Denmark, the HCI International 2020 conference was held virtually due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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About the Author

Photo of Adam Felts
Adam Felts

Adam Felts is a researcher and writer at the MIT AgeLab. Currently he is involved in research on the experiences of family caregivers and the future of financial advice. He also manages the AgeLab blog and newsletter. He received his Master's in Fine Arts in Creative Writing from Boston University in 2014 and his Master's of Theological Studies from Boston University in 2019.

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