Constructionist Design Methodology for Interactive Intelligences
We present a methodology for designing and implementing interactive intelligences. The constructionist design methodology (CDM) -- so called because it advocates modular building blocks and incorporation of prior work -- addresses factors that we see as key to future advances in AI, including support for interdisciplinary collaboration, coordination of teams, and large-scale systems integration. We test the methodology by building an interactive multifunctional system with a real-time perception- action loop. The system, whose construction relied entirely on the methodology, consists of an embodied virtual agent that can perceive both real and virtual objects in an augmented-reality room and interact with a user through coordinated gestures and speech. Wireless tracking technologies give the agent awareness of the environment and the user's speech and communicative acts. User and agent can communicate about things in the environment, their placement, and their function, as well as about more abstract topics, such as current news, through situated multimodal dialogue. The results demonstrate the CDM's strength in simplifying the modeling of complex, multifunctional systems that require architectural experimentation and exploration of unclear subsystem boundaries, undefined variables, and tangled data flow and control hierarchies.
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