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Augmenting Compassion Using Intimate Digital Media to Parallel Traditional Developmental Approaches

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Augmenting Compassion Using Intimate Digital Media to Parallel Traditional Developmental Approaches

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Augmenting Compassion Using Intimate Digital Media to Parallel Traditional Developmental Approaches

  1. 1. Augmenting Compassion Using Intimate Digital Media to Parallel Traditional Developmental Approaches Christine Rosakranse Stanford University Oakland, CA ABSTRACT “think as no human brain has ever thought and process data in a This paper describes a framework for augmenting human way not approached by the information-handling machines we compassion and the possible directions for research in this area know today”[2]. Engelbart believed technology could augment with a focus on using inimate digital media with ambient human intellect by developing “an integrated hierarchy of intelligence. cooperative mancomputer process capabilities.” This would “step-up” the mental abilities of a person level by level to be able to handle more complex thought processes. He also Categories and Subject Descriptors explains, “We refer to a way of life in an integrated domain H.5.1 [Multimedia Information Systems]: Evaluation and where hunches, cut-and-try, intangibles, and the human ‘feel for methodology. a situation’ usefully coexist with powerful concepts, streamlined technologies and notation, sophisticated methods, and high- General Terms powered electronic aids”[1]. Measurement, Documentation, Design, Experimentation, While some research and development in this field has Human Factors, Standardization, Theory. discovered methods for augmenting human intelligence as per the recommendation and work of these scientists and engineers, Keywords another facet of our potential has been less closely researched Compassion augmentation, intimate digital media, due to a lack of a clear and concise quantifiable representation. interconnectivity, ambient intelligence. This particular facet comes in the form of developing compassion. In fact, to some extent, technology is causing a disintegration within the empathic continuum. 1.INTRODUCTION One unfortunate consequence of the increasing sophistication As technology improves and we find ourselves more capable of and ubiquity of technology has been the general reduction of complex problem solving when working in conjunction with empathy and compassion in everyday life. Due partly to the these technologies, the emotional components of our distracting effect of mobile computing, the average individual development must also be addressed. Along with amplifying disconnects from his or her immediate environment and the intelligence, our cognitive hemispheres must become a more people within it in favor of communication with a small network balanced. Luckily, the plasticity of our mental architecture of nonadjacent friends, either through phone, text, chat or e- makes this a distinct, if not also necessary, possibility in human mail. They are not necessarily engaged with the space and evolution. people around them and do not actively pay attention to, While it was historically seen as the realm of parents and family empathize with, or feel compassion for others in the immediate (in society at large) to instill compassion and empathy, several vicinity [Nass]. proponents have come to the fore regarding compassion augmentation based in the realm of science, including the Dalai In order to reverse the trend of empathic fragmentation that Lama, Lappé, and Ekman [3]. leads to lower levels of everyday compassion, the neural mechanisms behind compassion development must be revealed In starting the search for methods that augment human and methods for augmenting compassion must be designed and compassion using digital means, many avenues present researched based on those functions. This would then allow us to themselves. One useful place to begin is with the traditional introduce a new level of social awareness into our technological methods developed by cultures around the world. dynamic by way of an ambient intelligence that leverages intimate media to effect both the level of concern and intimacy 2.DEVELOPING A FRAMEWORK felt by an individual towards others. 2.1Theoretical Grounding To fully develop human potential, all resources available must Using the precedents set by Emotional Design, as it has begun to be utilized to that end, including digital media. Licklider, see an upswing as a mainstream approach by realizing that Ashby, and Engelbart have all written on the subject of emotion does play a role in interaction, and Value-sensitive augmenting or amplifying human intellect [1,2]. Licklider Design, which also adds weight to the implications of interface (1960) defined a concept called “man-computer symbiosis”, a design, a Grounded Theory Approach with selective coding is system whereby humans and computers work in conjunction to
  2. 2. suggested for the initial development of this research b. The cohesion of relationships might also be revealed framework. during the studied, and linked to effectiveness. Following the format for research performed to augment human c. Neural integration represents the amount of the reflective intellect, the objective of this study, which includes the previous component included. This is directly related to the amount suppositions and conjectures, is to discover the factors that of reflection facilitated by the interface design. determine a given individual’s level of compassion and to develop methods that would act to augment human compassion d. A “natural” interface (ambient intelligence) is also by paralleling traditional approaches. important for optimal effectiveness. Obvious glitches cause the participant to disconnect from the experience itself. In this specific case, the use of intimate digital media provides a basis for further study and parelleling the Buddhist compassion III. Change to level of compassion (as a temperament, includes practice of Metta provides a sample structure for research the change to the activation energy required to enter a design. With this approach we can use observational analysis to compassionate state) create conceptual categories to define types of interaction with intimate digital media as a first step to gradually refine and IV. Resultant action (prosocial behavior, including degree of reevaluate these connections in a more formalized research spontaneity and unbiasedness, or measures from fMRI) setting. The elements of engagement with this media can be placed into 3.LITERATURE REVIEW the following categories: In researching methods for the development of empathic concern, we find that the syncretic nature of visceral, affective, 1) perceptual/cognitive somatic, and cognitive interactions creates a complex system of 2) physiological emergent emotional phenomena. Accounting for these intricacies within a research design becomes problematic 3) conscious or reflective coherence without first determining the proper vocabulary to accurately 4) emergent/transcendent represent the nature of this system. Drawing from the realm of With these categories of engagement in place, testing the level mathematics provides one source for descriptors. Daniel Siegel, of interaction versus the level of change or augmentation in in his book The Mindful Brain, using complexity theory compassion becomes a matter of defining sound methodologies specifically, explains the logic of our human systems by writing for measuring this state or temperament in a quantifiable that “an integrated state enables the most flexible, adaptive, and manner. stable states to be created within a dynamical, complex system.” 3.1Lexicon The definition of compassion in our modern lexicon remains nebulous within the context of social interaction. Whether it is an emotion, sentiment, temperament, or feeling has not yet been concretely determined. Compassion requires a more stringent classification to include elements of behavior that compose compassion, empathic concern, and kindness as well as determining the scientific methods for measurement. In order to fully encompass the nature and magnitude of these possibilities, we may borrow from the lexicon of quantum physics, the fields of mathematics, specifically complex dynamics, and chemistry to allow for a more robust set of terms to describe intelligence and compassion augmentation. The Figure 1. Compassion as the result of concern and intimacy initial step of determining terminology is key because any Even with this grounding, there is still a gulf between science further study would require a sound grounding in what factors and the humanities in terms of determining which components effect compassion levels and how they do so. Within the of a human’s behavior, specifically those relating to compassion context of interactive and intimate digital media, these factors development, can be effected by technology. However, the may be counterintuitive or may include non-trivial emergent overall process under review would be the following: properties. Having a more exact vocabulary would undermine semantic ambiguity and allow for a cross-communication I. Exposure to intimate media stimulus (classified by valence between fields. and type of interaction, i.e. pictures of friends at a social Some of the difficulty in soundly defining the concepts relevant gathering), with the interspersion of different types of pictures to compassion augmentation stems from the family-only II. Cognitive processing (conscious, subconscious, unconscious) approach normally taken for the development of compassion in a child’s life. It is often seen as the responsibility of parents and a. Within the research design, we must check for initial families to engender this value. Beyond childhood, only attunement prior to an attempt for protracting, expanding, or societal norms act to regulate compassion. The exact nature of proliferating the feeling of compassion towards others (also compassion is also nebulous enough within our society as a known as secure attachment). whole to defy easy definition. Definitions for compassion describe a semantic range of possibilities including awareness (purely knowledge), an emotion, or a feeling. Examples where
  3. 3. the ambiguous language is most obvious include the chapter on Also of great relevance is the concept of arousal as it pertains to The Nature of Compassion in the book Emotional Awareness, the effectiveness of a given interface to cause change within the which is a conversation between the Dalai Lama and Paul participant. Ekman[3]. As Ekman and the Dalai Lama discuss how compassion may or may not be considered an emotion, the Dalai Lama explains, 3.2General Approaches for Measurement “Once the person experiences this heightened compassion, his or her compassion retains that kind of tone throughout the day...” Only when this “emergent” mode of thinking is combined with Ekman argues against this by explaining that moods are the constantly growing lexicon provided by evolutionary biology transitory and, therefore, compassion cannot explained with the and advancements in brain research can we begin to express the definitions of mood or emotion. However, taking the interconnected nature of neurological development. neurological definition of mood and emotion into account, one could argue for the term temperament as a desciptor for the The development of empathic concern itself involves several long-term nature of this change. facets of interaction that build upon each other, an evolution that is cognitive, emotional, and physical. In addition to initial The word nature itself is used colloquially. However, nature has instances of secure attachment, later stages of life include the the connotation of being unchangeable and fixed. For now, the development of a self-regulating equilibrium. term temperament will be used in this paper to describe compassion, in that it is a sustained perceptual filter that Siegel later describes a triad of mental well-being as including governs the overall level of compassion of an individual as well “coherence of mind, empathy of relationships, and neural as the level of spontaneity and unbiasedness related to prosocial integration,” with implications arising from the possible actions (kindness, sympathy, etc.). This definition is further interplay between these traits. If one apex of this triangle is explained in section 3.1.3. In a similar lexical vein, creating a actively modulted, do the others follow suit to a certain degree long-term temperament involves lowering the activation energy or not? for a compassionate state. Key ideas for further development include the following: Reviewing current research into related topics, including developing empathy in children, compassion meditation studies, Defining compassion as a temperament that can be altered and studies into nociceptive capacity, and compassion fatigue developed. psychometric testing, has revealed three general approaches to Creation thereof lowers the activation energy required for testing for elements of the temperament of compassion, as well prosocial behavior Using this terminology from chemiastry as related elements of psychological development. provides one Emergent phenomena reveals multiple sources of influence for 3.2.1Cognitive/Physiological Analysis Brave and Nass have indicated that the level of activity in the this creation. limbic and cortical regions of the brain relate to an individual’s Intimate media (of varying valence) may be used to modulate empathic responses [2]. In their work, Brave and Nass reveal the the neural networks associated with compassion development. underlying mechanisms of emotion that stem from the Specifically, Tucker, Luu and Derryberry have demonstrated connections between the thalamus, the cortex, and the limbic how “intimacy modulates the neural response of empathy for system. The thalamic-limbic pathway is responsible for the pain.” primary emotions, while secondary emotions “result from Reflective coherence is a necessary component of compassion activation of the limbic system by processing in the cortex.” development [Tucker, Luu and Derryberry, Rueda, Kabat-Zinn, They then go on to cover the debate over whether or not emotion Ackerman]. This allows for neural integration of what is is innate or learned. Regarding this debate, Brave and Nass experienced as it changes middle prefrontal function. Siegel describe the middle of the two extremes where “the limbic explains that reflection included the three following facets to system is prewired to recognize the basic categories of emotion, function: ”receptivity, self-observation, and reflexivity.” but social learning and higher cortical processes still play a The inclusion of these components of development in an significant role in differentiation.”. In short, between the realm ambient intelligence would allow for a more consistent exposure of pure emotion and pure cognition lies the key for compassion to the stimuli, which may lead to faster and more prolonged development. Name that more evolved neural structures “did not changes. replace the hindbrain, but rather modulated its function, largely through inhibitory control.” In accordance with our Additionally, compassion augmentation represents a form of neuroplasticity, certain neural structures developed during early “cognitive hybridization.” As defined by Andy Clark, “Some childhood can be altered [Lutz, et al.]. technologies constitute a cascade of mindware upgrades - cognitive upheavals in which the effective architecture on the The experiment in the article entitled Regulation of the Neural human mind is altered and transformed” [4]. This is similar to Circuitry of Emotion by Compassion Meditation: Effects of the concept of encephalization as presented by Tucker, Luu, and Meditative Expertise used functional magnetic resonance Derryberry [5]. “Encephalization is a concept that is imaging (fMRI) to measure differences in brain activity between complimentary to the construct of terminal additions. It novice and experienced meditators, those having 10,000 plus describes how functions of more primitive neural structures hours of Buddhist compassion mediation practice [5]. This paper were elaborated with more recently evolved terminal identifies activity in the limbic region associated with increased additions[6].” levels of compassion in buddhist monks with over 10,000 hours of compassion meditation practice. They were asked two
  4. 4. alternate between actively generating a condition of compassion The dimensional theories using arousal and valence were also mediation and refraining from the practice. used during the Compassion Mediation study and with In this case: correlational results. This would support that for further research, where any self-reporting is necessary, compassion “The meditative practice studied here involves the should be tested as a temperament emergent from a two- generation of a state in which an “unconditional feeling of dimensional space of “conscious emotional experience” [7]. The loving-kindness and compassion pervades the whole mind as a key lies in consistent intention and progression. way of being, with no other consideration, or discursive thoughts” ... According to the tradition, as a result of this How much we relate to someone else or engage with them practice, feelings and actions for the benefit of others arise correlates to the amount of intimacy we feel when interacting more readily when relevant situations arise. Our main with or thinking of that person. We are more intimate with hypothesis was thus that the concern for others cultivated loved ones than with strangers and this translates into how much during this meditation would enhance the affective responses to empathy we feels towards them and how much compassion we emotional human vocalizations, in particular to negative ones, can generate for that person. Cheng, et al. in their article and that this affective response would be modulated by the “Love hurts: An fMRI study” describe the mechanism of degree of meditation training.” intimacy “as including the other in the self...” They specifically studied empathy of pain, looking at the neural network involved They analyzed the areas of the brain associated with empathy in the “pain matrix”. including the insula cortex and the somatosensory cortex. The data support their main hypothesis, namely that “the brain They discovered that not only does imagining a love one in pain regions underlying emotions and feelings are modulated in cause greater activity in the pain matrix, but it also causes less response to emotional sounds as a function of the state of activation in those regions associated with distinguishing self compassion, the valence of the emotional sounds and the degree from the other, such as the medial prefrontal cortex (MPFC) of expertise”[5]. which is involved with an individual’s Theory of Mind, One interesting way to see these results is to acknowledge that “allowing overlap between self and the other”. the meditation itself, over time, changes the neurology of the From the direction of compassion development, one obstacle to practitioner in such a way that the empathy and compassion empathic growth towards strangers rests in difficulty of evoking become more automatic and spontaneous. In the section on another’s perspective. Specifically, as those portions of our Effects of Affect: Attention, Brave and Nass state, “people also neural network are dampened in activity when we think of often consciously regulate mood, selecting and attending to strangers, how can we overcome that in a productive way that stimuli that sustain desired moods or, alternatively, counteract fosters compassion development without interrupting necessary undesired moods” [6]. This might prove to be insightful for thought processes? informing experimental design by suggesting the role of intention and prolonged exposure to compassion-based stimuli. Siegel also suggests “that a developmental psychopathology approach to problems such as empathy may be facilitated by an Compassion meditation would then put people in a more evolutionary-developmental analysis of neuropsychological sustained compassionate temperament. The definition of mood mechanisms of attachment and self-regulation.” The also defines some of the elements of compassion. “Moods...are combination of these two elements leads to compassion nonintentional; they are not directed at any object in particular augmentation and having one without the other does not allow and are thus experienced as more diffuse, global, and general.” for optimal development. Precursors to empathic expansion This would seem to be the case with long-term practitioners of would then include both an initial attunement or secure compassion mediation. It becomes a “way of being.” attachment and the development of cognitive skills associated Brave and Nass support this by saying, “Intense or repetitive with reflective thought. Siegel explains, “The evolution of the emotional experiences tend to prolong themselves into neural mechanisms that integrate pain/distress motive with moods”[6]. The Lutz, Johnstone and Davidson study used fMRI vocalization lays the foundation for understanding the vertical results to measure affect, but Brave and Nass also suggest other integration of attachment and regulation for parent/infant bonds methods for doing so, including electroencephalogram (EEG) to that can then be extended to more general social bonds. []” test neurological responses, autonomic activity, facial Without an initial bond with a parent, other caretaker, or friend expression, voice, self-report measures, and affect recognition later interpersonal attunement becomes more difficult, and by users. would remain outside the scope of this study. Depending on the conditions of the study, these methods for testing affect differ in efficacy. The Compassion Mediation study did not use behavioral analysis during the testing because the meditators informed them that this would interfere with the meditation process itself. So they has to rely on the fMRI measurements and a certain amount of self-reporting. Self- report measures, in particular, suffer from a problem with temporal relevance. Brave and Nass point out that “questionnaires are capable of measuring only the conscious experience of emotion and mood. Much of affective processing, however, resides in the limbic system and in nonconscious processes.”
  5. 5. 3.2.3Psychometric (Self-reporting) Measures In developing a test for compassion so that quantitative results can verify any changes over time, several parallel types of testing present themselves as possibilities. To first determine the level of intial secure attachment, the Adult Attachment Interview (AAI) can be used as it is “akin to an assessment of the reflective aspects of midfulness.[]” Similarly, the Positive and Negative Affect Schedule (PANAS) as a test for mood could provide the basis for determining the type of affect that the digital intimate media has on the subject while an additional compassion test would be necessary to correlate that affect with a change in temperament equivalent to compassion development [11]. However, the most direct method of testing would involve the participants' changing of tags as related to changed levels of compassion felt toward the pictured subject. Additionally, one method used to discover compassion in nurses is a compassion fatigue test developed for caregivers. This might prove useful as a before and after test to determine change in overall mentality[12]. Figure 2. Steps for Change in Neural Architecture 4.PROPOSED RESEARCH DESIGN 3.2.2Behavioral Analysis The generation of a compassionate mood rests in two dimensions: concern and intimacy. Concern can also be called After a participant is exposed to an initial stimulus of a picture caring or more specifically empathic concern. Intimacy can also of a “loved one” or their closest associate (mother, best friend, be understood as the level of connectedness one person feels etc.), they are then asked to perpetuate the feeling of with another or with the process itself of compassion compassion (at the same intensity/valence) while viewing development. Therefore, it must be taken into account that pictures of friends, strangers, and “enemies”. The fact that we intimacy in this case refers to both the nature of the media can develop a sense of connection with someone we have never presented for constructive reflection and the space or met has been well established in the literature (Lombard and environment in which it is presented. Both have implications for Ditton, Rafaeli, Parks and Floyd, etc.). As this type of research design. connection is created primarily during a cognitive process, it can be called sociomental (Chayko and Zerubarel, 1993). Neurologically, it is interesting to note that the very mechanism which allows us to function in everyday life by allowing us to realize that others can hold views contradictory to our own, 4.1Research Design called the Theory of Mind, keeps human beings from fully being able to see another as self. This separation, key to social In order for this system to have the greatest efficacy, the development and lacking in autistic individuals, provides a pictures must be drawn from the participant’s life. The creation boundary that cannot be overcome. Complete autonomous of an interface that leverages readily available intimate digital functioning would then be the other extreme of the media, such as pictures stored online, combined with connectedness spectrum. categorization methods, such as tagging and grouping, is the Several studies have tested subjects by utilizing behavioral first step. analysis to reveal the presence and levels of compassion. The question of whether or not empathy is, as related to compassion, hard-wired into the brain has been tested. Frans de Waal also writes about kindness from the evolutionary perspective [8]. Another experiment with more direct human relevance discovered that when participants were given money to use, giving the money away to another person made them feel more satisfied and happy than using it for their own personal consumption[9]. Whether or not altruism directly relates to compassion or can be seen as a resultant action of a compassionate state would also have to be further studied. Testing within a school setting has also provided some concrete evidence of the effectiveness of teaching children empathy and compassion. The Second Step Program by the Committee for Children in Seattle teaches children empathy and measure success with lower reported incidents of bullying and school violence [10].
  6. 6. track the participants’ progress, as pictures change in level of compassion felt. A more rigid study can be performed using fMRI readings to quantify the change in neural activity of those regions of the brain associated with compassion. This also follows from Siegel's summation, “But disrupting the usual forms of personal identity within awareness may involve large- scale assembly alterations on a larger and more diffuse level that perhaps could be detected with careful computer assisted electrical measurements of whole system integration.[]” 5.GOALS AND FURTHER RESEARCH As technology becomes more advanced, allowing for actual intellectual “amplification”, we must counter this with the augmentation of compassion in order to balance out the human equation. As it is now understood that certain emergent phenomena occur within the brain as well as effecting the outside world, we may expect to find a terrific potential for growth and mental evolution at the intersection of intellect and compassion. One specific arena for further research involves the incorporation of additional types of digital media into the compassion augmentation process, as well as the incorporation of these methods with ambient intelligence, perhaps having something akin to a compassion light or signifier. The nexus of science and art has always been a fascinating space for conjecture, but, as the sphere of science grows to include room for what once seemed to be purely metaphysical concerns, the research is finding ways to ground the effects of arts in a scientifically meaningful vocabulary. The process, however, has just begun. 5.1Ambient Intelligence and Intimacy Setting: Initial studies are to be performed in a lab setting, with Whether in an interactive digital environment such as Second the ultimate goal being integration into the home environment Life, in an at-home setting, or in an immersive “real-world” through a computer interface or digital photo frames. environment such as a multimedia museum exhibit, the exact nature of an ambient interaction may prove vital to compassion Steps: Participants are asked to go through their photostream, augmentation and this should also be taken into account during tagging each photo containing a person with the level of the framework development process. compassion they feel towards that person. In order to avoid complex interference, only those pictures with one person One of the more direct forms that this interaction could take is should be used. Level One would represent those closest to the with a digital photo frame located somewhere in the participant's participant (center point in the diagram, see diagram). Level living environment. With photographs cycling through from Two represents friends. Level Three are strangers (which are “loved ones” to include friends and then strangers, the pulled from random pictures, not from the participant’s participant can use active reflection to perpetuate feelings of photostream). Level Four are “enemies”, those people to whom compassion to the unknown people in their streaming the participant shows an aversion. photographs. This can then be correlated to a compassion light The tags will allow the application to show the participant Level or signifier/indicator with the local environment that reminds One pictures first. It is important to have the participant reflect the participant of that temperament experienced during the on the feelings that are aroused by the picture, specifically that exercises. of compassion. This allows for intrapersonal attunment, one There are several communities in Second Life already devoted aspect of which is the alteration of self-other perspectives. to teaching in new ways specifically designed for an immersive After a preset period of time, the Level Two pictures will be online experience that would also constitute an ambient shown and the participants will be asked to perpetuate that intelligence. The London Knowledge Lab, Institute of initial level of compassion to these pictures, as well as they can. Education, University of London, ran a research project entitled In order to most closely parallel traditional techniques, the first Learning from Online Worlds; Teaching In Second Life where sessions should only include Level One and Two pictures. they taught sessions within that context [14]. The viability of Once the intensity of compassion for Level Two draws near that such an approach is increasingly proven by such experiments, of Level One, then Level Three pictures should be introduced especially as matters such as presence, trust, reciprocity, and so on to Level Four. intimacy and goal-oriented learning are imbued within the system. Measurements: As computing becomes more ubiquitous, questions regarding propriety and intimacy come to the fore. Exactly how does one For initial assessments, self-reporting measures will be used to distinguish between private and public information displayed in
  7. 7. a public space? As social networking continues to grow to Additionally, if a disconnect from a common humanity lessens include more personal sharing, what defines publicly available compassion or hinders its development, then key to developing information anyway? In Daniel Russell’s paper “Appropriate compassion in others would be creating a palpable connection to Expressions of Intimacy: Lessons of Digital Jewelry and Large others and, thereby, to humanity in general. With interactive Displays” he draws conclusions related to these issues from two digital media, the user changes from passive receptor of ends of the ubiquitous computing spectrum. information to co-creator, completing a cycle of connection and At the USER Lab at the IBM Almaden Research Center, his creating a subsequent positive association. team created “e-rings” with LEDs that display information Several additional terms can be introduced at this point: based on one’s “personal state.” This could include a wide range of inputs from receiving an e-mail from a certain person to stock The amount someone can interact with a piece is agency. prices. A digital jewelry box serves as the device interface for Affordance is the quality that allows someone to perform an changing display behavior. E-rings display information in a action. public way, but the definition of the display (what a certain color means to the user) remains private. This is one way of 5.3Extending the Framework creating a boundary between public and private information as Additional elements and reference questions can be added in opposed to a pager, which provides public information only order to develop a more robust version of compassion when the user acknowledges it (beeping, flashing, etc.) and augmentation. One last component that may increase the range hides the exact message in the display. of research possibilities involves questions from the ABE Before entering into the discussion of large displays, Russell (Appreciation of Beauty and Excellence) as this approach may shares one interesting insight regarding the social signals also prove relevant to the investigation [15]. In their research, provided by pagers (which could easily include smart phones). Peterson and Seligman find ways to measure if a “person feeling Russell writes that looking at a pager “connotes a sense of oneness with the universe, a sense of truth, an inability to importance about an information feed into the wearer’s life that express experience in mere words, and a vividness and clarity of exceeds the need to pay complete and active attention to live, sensations and perceptions.” face-to-face interaction.” Of course, this can also be related to One of the personality characteristics that correspond with an someone’s perceived ability to multitask effectively. appreciation of beauty includes an openness to new experiences. To test the manner in which users interact with a large display, This also provides another direction for continuing research. Russell and his team created IM Here. While instant messaging is normally considered private, this method of display clearly With our current approach we will use observational analysis to draws these conversations into a public space. In the case of IM create conceptual categories to define types of interaction with Here, in order to create a sense of intimacy, the chat sessions are digital intimate media as a first step to gradually refine and allocated a small portion of the overall display space. reevaluate these connections in a more formalized research Russell determined that positioning, scale, physical design, and setting. Future research includes testing the change in levels of societal norms defined the “public vs. intimate characteristic.” compassion of those exposed to interactive digital media over Implications from this can inform design for ambient time (designed with the results from this research in mind). We information systems as well. will also be able to research whether or not having a reflective component is necessary and whether or not affect is an issue of Questions for further research that directly effects the ability to intensity versus duration. integrate intimate media within a public environment include: To what extent are public spaces capable of intimacy? 6.CONCLUSION For which experiences is intimacy required and to what extent? While compassion may or may not be our “natural” attitude towards others according to differing traditions, it can be noted 5.2Interactive Digital Media as Co-creation that societal constructs, on the whole, do not necessarily support The theory that art can effect the human mind has long been compassionate behavior, favoring instead a market/perceived held by artists. The connection between digital interactive art, worth-based social structure. Compassion, however, can be improving a user’s level of empathy, and reducing stress has promoted and developed within an individual’s mental been made by artists such as Barbara Buckner in her article architecture through various means, including those involving “Healing Interactions and Interactive Digital Art” [13]. intimate media and ambient intelligence. In combination with the standard forms of creative expression, current technology allows for the addition of interactivity and In regards to certain academic traditions, these particular means may lead to a feeling of interconnectivity with the artist or can go by other names such as “facts”, in the context of Lewin’s others as represented by the project. In the words of Barbara field theory. Those “facts” which are capable of changing a Buckner, “the user becomes cause in the scenario...The user person’s mental state towards a more stable temperament of builds an iterative cycle of aesthetic relationships, and through compassion have not yet been fully explored. this cycle of perception and co-creation, fulfills the meaning of the work.” It is this aspect of interactive digital art that would Within the realm of developing technologies and interactive parallel the intentional facet of compassion augmentation by digital media specifically, those factors regarding interaction, other means, including meditation. “The user is accepting user experience design, content, context, intimacy, and empathy responsibility for co-creating unity through cause and effect.” are of special interest. The complex nature of multi-faceted interaction towards compassion augmentation provides an As opposed to passive forms of artistic exposure, having the exciting milieu for further exploration and study. user become participant introduces them to the themes inherent in the artwork, such as harmony and integration, from the It is the responsibility of artists/engineers/scientists to develop standpoint of a creator.
  8. 8. and reinvest knowledge continually within an iterative process [3] Ekman, Paul, ed. (2008) Emotional Awareness: overcoming towards the augmentation of the human intellect as well as the obstacles to psychological balance and compassion: a towards the augmentation of compassion, as the two act to conversation between the Dalai Lama and Paul Ekman. balance human evolution towards a sustainable future. We, as Henry Holt and Company: New York. Pgs. 139-184. humans, have the choice to use our emotions, sentiments, and [4] Clark, Andy “Natural-Born Cyborgs?” (2003), The New moods in order to modify our behavior. In their work, Brave Humanists: science at the edge, (A Barnes and Noble Book: and Nass reveal the underlying mechanisms of emotion by New York). (pgs. 67-78). ed. John Brockman. explaining the connections between the thalamus, the cortex, and the limbic system. Others have continued along this path [5] Lutz A, Brefczynski-Lewis J, Johnstone T, Davidson RJ towards discoveries that allow us to pursue true compassion 2008. Regulation of the Neural Circuitry of Emotion by augmentation. Compassion Meditation: Effects of Meditative Expertise. PLoS ONE 3(3): e1897. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0001897 We now know that the thalamic-limbic pathway is responsible for the primary emotions, while secondary emotions “result [6] Brave, S., & Nass, C. 2007. Emotion in human-computer from activation of the limbic system by processing in the interaction. In Sears, A. & Jacko, J (Eds.). The Human- cortex.” While some debate still exists over whether or not a Computer Interaction Handbook: Fundamentals, Evolving given emotion is innate or learned, for the purposes of Technologies and Emerging Applications, 2nd Edition. (pp. conceptualizing a framework, the mechanism behind the 77-92). Lawrence Erlbaum. compassionate temperament will be understood as malleable due [7] Peterson, C., & Seligman M. E. P. 2003. Values in action to the plastic nature of our mental architecture. classification of strength. Retrieved November 5, 2009, Regarding the ability to develop compassion by entering from meditative states, the experiment in the article entitled [8] Phillips, Adam and Barbara Taylor. 2009. On Kindness. Regulation of the Neural Circuitry of Emotion by Compassion Farrar, Straus and Giroux. Meditation: Effects of Meditative Expertise used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to measure differences in [9] Lappé, Frances Moore. Living Democracy, Feeding Hope. brain activity between novice and experienced meditators, those First Aired: 5/11/2009, 59 minutes. having 10,000 plus hours of Buddhist compassion mediation details.aspx?showID=16447 practice. Conclusions can be drawn from this they may inform [10] Holsen, I., Smith, B., & Frey, K. S. (2008). Outcomes of the design of compassion augmentation systems. the social competence program SECOND STEP in The time has arrived for compassion augmentation and, in this Norwegian elementary schools. School Psychology digital age, with our astounding level of interconnectivity, the International 29(1), 71–88. opportunity to utilize technology for this purpose cannot go unrealized. Augmenting human intellect as a theory and [11] Crawford, John R. and Julie D. Henry. 2004. The Positive aspiration has itself been itself further augmented to suggest that and Negative Affect Schedule (PANAS): Construct validity, all facets of society must come together and work towards a measurement properties and normative data in a large non- common goal. Creating a framework for future compassion clinical sample. British Journal of Clinical Psychology augmentation research the first step. In order to balance the (2004), 43, 245–265. ( human equation, prosocial behavior promoted by the pdfs/BJCP_2004_PANAS.pdf) temperament compassion should be placed alongside [12] B. Hudnall Stamm, 1997-2005. Professional Quality of intelligence in our search for human augmentation. With a Life: Compassion Satisfaction and Fatigue Subscales, R-IV sound lexicon for development and concrete designs for (ProQOL). analysis, the path to augmenting human compassion is now more clearly defined. [13] Buckner, Barbara. "Healing Interactions and Interactive Digital Art - News and Project Statement". Afterimage. 02 Oct, 2009. 7.ACKNOWLEDGMENTS My thanks Professors Nathan Freier, Jim Zappen for their 57497/ support and review. Also, thanks to Christina Engelbart for her eye-opening correspondence. Thanks to Clifford Nass. [14] Fledman Barrett, L. & Russell. 1999. The structure of current affect: Controversies and emerging consensus. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 8(1), 10-14. 8.REFERENCES [1] Engelbart, Douglas C. 1962. Augmenting Human Intellect: [15] Carr, D. Oliver, M., Burn, A. (in press 2010) ’Learning, A Conceptual Framework. Summary Report AFOSR-3223 Teaching and Ambiguity in Virtual Worlds’, in under Contract AF 49(638)-1024, SRI Project 3578 for Air Researching Learning in Virtual Worlds. Peachey, A, Force Office of Scientific Research, Stanford Research Gillen, J, Livingstone, D, Smith-Robbins, S. (eds) UK : Institute, Menlo Park, Ca., October 1962. Springer [2] Jacko, Julie A., and Andrew Sears, eds. 2003. The Human- Computer Interaction Handbook: Fundamentals, Evolving Technologies and Emerging Applications. New Jersey: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Publishers. pg. 3.