Juan Hourcade

Juan Pablo Hourcade is an associate professor in the Department of Computer Science at the University of Iowa, focusing on human-computer interaction.

Posts By Juan Hourcade

The perils of next-gen surveillance technology

Posted: Fri, February 22, 2019 - 4:27:20

Low-cost, high-performance, data capture, storage, and processing capabilities are changing our world. We are in the era of big data. Most large organizations are storing large amounts of data about every aspect of their operations, just in case they need it at some point, turning it over to data scientists hoping to gain insights. This data revolution has the potential…

Fair technology

Posted: Fri, April 27, 2018 - 12:10:30

The means of destruction have developed pari passu with the technology of production, while creative imagination has not kept pace with either. The creative imagination I am talking of works on two levels. The first is the level of social engineering, the second is the level of vision. In my view both have lagged behind technology, especially in the highly…

Violent groups, social psychology, and computing

Posted: Mon, April 25, 2016 - 2:55:08

About two years ago, I participated in the first Build Peace conference, a meeting of practitioners and researchers from a wide range of backgrounds with a common interest in using technologies to promote peace around the world. During one session, the presenter asked members of the audience to raise their hands if they had lived in multiple countries for an…

Designing the cognitive future, part IX: High-level impacts

Posted: Tue, March 22, 2016 - 10:27:21

In previous blog posts I have been writing about how interactive technologies are changing or may change our cognitive processes. In this post I reflect on the high-level impact of these changes, and identify four main areas of impact, each with its own opportunities and risks: human connections and information, control, creativity, and (in)equality. In terms of human connections and…

Designing the cognitive future, part VIII: Creativity

Posted: Wed, April 08, 2015 - 10:44:36

In the past decade there has been an increasing amount of interest in the HCI community on the topic of creativity. While it is not a process at the same basic level as perception or attention, creativity is often listed as a topic in cognition, and it is the focus of this post. Creativity is not easy to define. Reading…

Designing the cognitive future, part VII: Metacognition

Posted: Fri, March 06, 2015 - 12:49:00

In this post, I discuss my views on designing the future of metacognition. The definition of metacognition I use in the post refers to the monitoring and control of other cognitive processes. Monitoring helps us reflect on what is happening and what happened, while control enables us to regulate cognitive processes. While monitoring and control can happen automatically, here I…

Designing the cognitive future, part VI: Communication

Posted: Tue, February 03, 2015 - 5:33:59

Continuing the series on designing the cognitive future, in this post I discuss communication. This is a topic on which the HCI community has spent a significant amount of energy, with conferences such as CSCW fully dedicated to it.Two hundred years ago, most personal communications occurred face-to-face, with the most common exception being letter writing, for those who were literate.…

Designing the cognitive future, part V: Reasoning and problem solving

Posted: Tue, October 14, 2014 - 3:38:54

I have been writing about how computers are affecting and are likely to affect cognitive processes. In previous posts I have touched on perception, memory, attention, and learning. In this post, I discuss reasoning and problem solving.Computers are quite adept at deductive reasoning. If all facts are known (at least those we would use to make a decision), computers can…

The challenges of developing usable and useful government ICTs

Posted: Mon, June 30, 2014 - 4:04:52

Governments are increasingly providing services and information to the public through information and communication technologies (ICTs). There are many benefits to providing information and services through ICTs. People who are looking for government-related information can find it much more quickly. Government agencies can update websites more easily than paper documents. Those taking advantage of government services through ICTs can save…

Designing the cognitive future, part IV: Learning and child development

Posted: Thu, May 15, 2014 - 10:29:54

In this post, I discuss how technology may affect learning and child development in the future, and how the HCI community can play a role in shaping what happens.Let’s start with a quick primer on some of the latest theories on child development, such as dynamic state theories and connectionism. These theories attempt to bridge what we know about the…