Collaborative Systems (AAAI-94 Presidential Address)
The construction of computer systems that are intelligent, collaborative problem-solving partners is an important goal for both the science of AI and its application. From the scientific perspective, the development of theories and mechanisms to enable building collaborative systems presents exciting research challenges across AI subfields. From the applications perspective, the capability to collaborate with users and other systems is essential if large-scale information systems of the future are to assist users in finding the information they need and solving the problems they have. In this address, it is argued that collaboration must be designed into systems from the start; it cannot be patched on. Key features of collaborative activity are described, the scientific base provided by recent AI research is discussed, and several of the research challenges posed by collaboration are presented. It is further argued that research on, and the development of, collaborative systems should itself be a collaborative endeavor -- within AI, across subfields of computer science, and with researchers in other fields.
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