Conference Proceedings

Kinecting with Orangutans: Zoo Visitors' Empathetic Responses to Animals' Use of Interactive Technology

Sarah Webber, Marcus Carter, Sally Sherwen, Wally Smith, Zaher Joukhadar, Frank Vetere

PROCEEDINGS OF THE 2017 ACM SIGCHI CONFERENCE ON HUMAN FACTORS IN COMPUTING SYSTEMS (CHI'17) | ASSOC COMPUTING MACHINERY | Published : 2017

Abstract

Animal conservation organisations occasionally harness depictions of animals using digital technology to inspire interest in, and concern for animals. To better understand the forms of empathy experienced by people observing animal-computer interaction, we designed and studied an interactive installation for orangutans at a zoo. Through collaborative design we established an understanding of zoos' objectives and strategies related to empathy in the zoo context. We deployed a prototype installation, and observed and interviewed visitors who watched orangutans use the installation. Analysis of observations and interviews revealed that visitors responded with cognitive, affective and motor empa..

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Grants

Funding Acknowledgements

This work was conducted in partnership with Zoos Victoria. The team would like to thank the individuals who generously shared their time and experience, and those who provided organisational and practical support for this research. Sarah Webber was supported by an Australian Government Research Training Program Scholarship and a Top-Up Scholarship from the Microsoft Research Centre for SocialNUI at The University of Melbourne.