The field of HCI has so far explored two major paradigms for how people relate to machines. The dominant approach is that of the machine as tool exemplified in the widespread use of Graphical User Interfaces (GUI) as well as the emerging category of Tangible User Interfaces (TUI). Interaction consists of the user employing software or hardware tools to get things done. A second approach, which recently gained a lot of attention, is that of the machine as intelligent agent. Interaction in this case typically involves commands or conversations in natural language and the holy grail is a partner as intelligent as a human. In this seminar we will explore a third approach consisting of an intimate integration of human and machine. We will discuss different visions for how machines can become a natural extension of the user, i.e. an integral part of the user, studying topics such as intelligence augmentation, augmented memory, motor augmentation, sensory augmentation, sensory substitution, brain-computer interfaces, subconscious and subliminal interfaces, hybrid human-machine creativity and more. Throughout the course we will reflect upon the question of how we can ensure that such human-machine symbiosis helps people thrive and makes them more human, more mindful and more empathetic.  The seminar is limited to 16 students who actively do research (or plan to) in this area. Students will be expected to take an active role leading and participating in discussions and will engage in design exercises and one final project.

Interested students should apply by 2/2 at the latest explaining why they should be accepted to the class. Please send email to

a model for the future of human-computer interaction