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Keynote

Frank Vetere (University of Melbourne)

Title: The Problems of Ageing and What Technology Can Do About It.

Abstract: What problems are we addressing when we create technology for ageing? Are we addressing problems associated with deterioration of physical or mental abilities? Are we addressing problems of ineffective aged care services? Or problems preventing active participation in society as we age? The way we cast the problems of ageing reflects our priorities, values and assumptions, and shapes the decisions we make about designing technologies to solve those problems. This talk will explore the way ageing is problematized in the research and design of interactive technologies. It seeks to clarify the diversity and complexity of the "ageing problem" and present the underlying values that motivate those problems. The talk will draw upon three major projects investigating the design and use of interactive technologies for intergenerational interactions, social isolation and community participation.

Brief Bio: Frank Vetere is a Professor in the Department of Computing and Information Systems at the University of Melbourne. He leads the Interaction Design Laboratory and is director of the Microsoft Research Centre for Social Natural User Interfaces (Social-NUI). Frank’s expertise is in Human-Computer Interactions (HCI) with particular interests in technologies for ageing well and design thinking. He is an executive member of the Hallmark Ageing Research Initiative (HARI) and the Melbourne Networked Society Institute (MNSI). Frank has served on the editorial board of the journals Interacting with Computers (IwC) and the International Journal of Human Computer Studies (IJHCS). He is currently the general chair of CHISIG, Australia's leading body for HCI research.

Joanna McGrenere (University of British Columbia)

Title: Designing a self-administered cognitive test that runs through a web-browser: Myth or reality?

Abstract: The population of older adults (65+) is aging in many developed nations. A side effect is that the number of people experiencing cognitive decline is on the rise. There are advantages to the early detection of cognitive impairments such as Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias, and yet screening today is still commonly done in a clinic setting using paper and pencil tests, often involving long wait times. This points to an urgent need for innovation in cognitive testing. This talk will describe the ongoing design and evaluation of a web-based computerized screening test for cognitive impairment that older adults will be able to take independently in the comfort of their own home. While the research is highly multidisciplinary, the particular focus will be on the human-computer interaction research being undertaken to make this assessment paradigm a reality.

Brief Bio: Joanna McGrenere is a Professor at the Department of Computer Science at the University of British Columbia. She is a pioneer in the design of interactive technology for people with aphasia, a cognitive disability affecting speech and language, and more generally, she designs technology for older users who are experiencing normal aging. Her broad research area is Human Computer Interaction (HCI), with a specialization in interface personalization, universal usability, assistive technology, and computer supported cooperative work. She recently served as the Papers Co-Chair for CHI in 2015 and is a member of the editorial boards for ACM Transactions on Computer-Human-Interaction (ToCHI) and ACM Transactions on Accessible Computing (TACCESS).