Human-computer interaction is a fast-growing field of study that examines questions like how people feel about robots, or what people choose to click first when they visit a webpage. With some clever setups, researchers are even able to investigate scenarios aren't quite technologically possible, such as how people react to a robot that begs not to be put away. The results of human-computer interaction studies can be fascinating, even if some of them are not applicable to everyday life… yet.
Now, a new conference is looking to throw yet another participant in the mix. The Association for Computing Machinery plans to host a conference this year about animal-human-computer interaction research. Possible study topics include prototype systems allowing animals to interact with computers, and programs that improve non-human animals' quality of life.