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Experts discuss human-machine collaboration at World Information Architecture Day

Designers, content strategists, web developers, scholars and students all came together at the University of Miami on Saturday to talk about the future of information architecture on World Information Architecture Day.

The event was held at UM for the first time and was co-hosted by information architect Diego Baca and the Knight Chair in Visual Journalism Alberto Cairo.

Hosted in 57 locations in 28 countries across six continents, World Information Architecture Day is an annual celebration of information and the variety of ways it can be used and presented.

The keynote speaker was Richard Saul Wurman, a world-renowned architect, graphic designer and the founder of the Technology, Entertainment, Design (TED) Conference. Wurman suggested to Cairo that he should push for the university to host the event.

“He sent me an email one day and asked why we don’t hold World Information Architecture Day,” Cairo said. “We have a fantastic line-up with a lot to offer.”

Juhong Park, an assistant professor in the School of Architecture, talked about a human-machine collaboration: how machines and robots can help humans achieve new occupational heights.

“Not all of us can be the next Mozart or Michelangelo,” Park said. “However, when working with machines, we may be able to.”

Park concedes that artificial intelligence is substituting human intelligence, which means robots are gradually replacing human workers. But he also contests that human workers should work with robots instead of competing against them. Drawing on his experience in architecture, Park has used programs to help him create variations to craft the perfect building.

“These softwares can create the same result as an architect. This shows that by using machines, we can produce great results,” Park said.

Among the other speakers was Arturo Castellanos, a Ph.D. candidate in the Florida International University College of Business. He explained how proper data designs could be used to help the healthcare system.

“With a user-friendly design, we can help the patients who will find it easy to utilize the necessary and relevant information that they need,” Castellanos said.

He also said that the system would not only help patients, but doctors, nurses and administrators as well.

“A patient’s worry is not whether they have a disease, it is whether they can get well,” Castellanos said. “Patients do not use information unless it is necessary. Their only goal is seeing what the outcome is. If the outcome is to get well, what tasks must they perform to get there?”

He stressed that there is a need for reliable and timely information for users, showing an award-winning design for electronic medical records (EMR) by designers in Chicago. This EMR has helped patients access their medical records in a user-friendly way.

Feature photo courtesy Pixabay user blickpixel.

February 21, 2016

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Marcus Lim


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