Friday, May 15, 2015

UI Architect Vs. UX Architect

Within the field of Human Computer Interaction and specifically in the area of user interface design, usability and user experience (all different ways of expressing a similar concept), there is some confusion among many hiring managers, recruiters and human resource professionals about the difference between a “UX Architect” and “UI Architect”. As a result, many job offerings and job descriptions use these two interchangeably. 

Some years ago, due to the limited number of opportunities in user experience, the term “UX Architect” did not exist in job rankings and “UI Architect” was generally used for both. Today’s market has extensively changed. User interface design includes two distinct areas that is Design and implementation of the design in terms of UI. Professionals who are specialized in user research, user interface design, prototyping and usability testing and evaluation often do not have any specific software engineering or coding experience. On the other hand, the professionals who are doing UI development implementation of UI design created by the first group are often not trained in the field of HCI.

Consequently, “UX architect” generally refers to senior level user interface designers with advanced knowledge of HCI who are not necessarily experts in UI implementation or any type of coding but have knowledge of the UI and capabilities.
On the other hand, "UI architect" refers to experts in UI development and UI technologies and coding.

Thus if you need somebody to supervise and manage your UI development then you need a “UI architect” but if you want to create a user  interface design from concept to evaluation then you might look for a “UX architect”.


Monday, March 2, 2015

Should We Fear Artificial Intelligence?

Science-Fiction movies often depict human made machines or robots destroying their creators, invading planets, and bringing an end to humanity. A few examples from a long list include I, Robot (2004), Artificial Intelligence (2001), Terminator (1984) and The Matrix (1999). Even the brilliant Stephen Hawking warns us that in fact “artificial intelligence could end mankind” (1). In light of the prevalence of this discussion, the question rises of how it may be a topic deserving of more attention within the HCI community. After all we are investigating ‘Human-Computer Interaction’. Should we not open a discussion on this topic as one deserving of research and conferences?

Professor Hawking’s main fear is that a new machine might be able to redesign and reinvent itself since it is not dependent on biological evolution. Hawking himself has for a longtime used an A.I. machine to communicate, giving him the experience to perhaps support his warning.

Elon Musk [2], the product architect of Tesla, has invested $10 million to try and keep A.I. friendly—or under control. He also shares a fear of A.I. When Bill Gates [3] was asked about his own thoughts, he said that he stands “in the camp that is concerned about super intelligence. First the machines will do a lot of jobs for us and not be super intelligent. That should be positive if we manage it well.”

On the other side, there are some scientific and industrialist minds that consider the risk exaggerated [4]. However, given the prevalence of the discussion regarding artificial intelligence, do you think there should be a larger focus on the matter within the HCI community?
[1]“Stephen Hawking warns artificial intelligence could end mankind,” BBC, 2 December 2014.
[2]Why Elon Musk Spent $10 Million To Keep Artificial Intelligence Friendly,” Forbes, 15 January 2015.
[3]“Bill Gates Says You Should Worry About Artificial Intelligence, Forbes, 1 January, 2015.
[4]“Scientists say AI fears unfounded, could hinder tech advances,” Computerworld, Jan 29, 2015.

Published in HCII NEWS News, March, 2015