Understanding Subjectivity: An Interactionist View

  • Nadia Bianchi-Berthouze
  • Luc Berthouze
  • Toshikazu Kato
Part of the CISM International Centre for Mechanical Sciences book series (CISM, volume 407)


User modeling is traditionally about constructing an explicit representation of the user. We argue against such approach because it overlooks the real nature of the human brain: plasticity and absence of monolithic control. Instead, we suggest to focus not on the modeling of the primary mechanism that explains a user’s response but on the mechanisms through which technology can mediate as complex information as subjective responses. Indeed the only way two persons can reach mutual understanding over such responses is social interaction.

We propose a novel architecture based on three main components: (1) an elaborate sensory(-motor) apparatus, (2) a dynamical memory and (3) an active interface with turn-taking capability. It supports the interactive emergence of a common symbolic language through which user and system can share subjective responses over visual perceptions. We assert that while the “user model” is not explicitly constructed, it reveals in the interactive dialog between the user and the machine.


User Model Associative Memory Perceptual State Active Interface Cognitive Technology 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1999

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nadia Bianchi-Berthouze
    • 1
  • Luc Berthouze
    • 1
  • Toshikazu Kato
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Intelligent Systems DivisionElectrotechnical LaboratoryJapan
  2. 2.Department of Industrial and System EngineeringChuo UniversityTokyoJapan

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