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Plans and Situated Actions: The Problem of Human-Machine Communication (Learning in Doing: Social, Cognitive and Computational Perspectives)

4.3 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0521337397
ISBN-10: 0521337399
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Editorial Reviews

Review

"Plans and Situated Actions is a substantive book. It has somthing important to say both to designers of interactive computer systems and to cognitive scientists who wish to understand communication either between people or between people and machines." Contemporary Psychology

"...a genuine pleasure to see a book that makes a real contribution to cognitive science by way of an anthropological analysis of interaction." American Anthropologist

Book Description

A compelling case for the re-examination of interface design models is presented by this text's assertion that human behavior is not taken into account in the planning model generally favored by artificial intelligence.
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Product Details

  • Series: Learning in Doing: Social, Cognitive and Computational Perspectives
  • Paperback: 220 pages
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press (December 25, 1987)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0521337399
  • ISBN-13: 978-0521337397
  • Product Dimensions: 5.4 x 0.9 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,579,755 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

By Sandro on June 28, 2000
Format: Paperback
This is THE book to start with if anybody is interested in studying interaction design. In a time everybody calls themselves an interaction designer, it's a highly recommended reading to learn there's more to interaction than simply large colourful buttons... Based on an ethnomethodological perspective, Suchman does a brilliant job in analysing users' interactions with an advanced Xerox machine, and putting forth an interesting critique of classical AI concepts. It's highly recommended for anybody interested in Human-Computer Communication and interaction design.
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Format: Paperback
This is an outstanding book. The insight that showed the power of the idea of `situated action' goes far beyond the realm of interactive design or even human computer interaction in its entirety. It is a fundamental solution to the problem of facing complexity and contingency. Its implications are widespread. This book was published in the 1987 when during the last days of classical AI. This is one of the seminal books that showed the inadequacies of the classical formulation. Indeed it showed a new and much more way of achieving the goals that classical AI set for itself and failed. Despite its age the ides in this book are still fresh and important.
. Absolute certainty is impossible and the quest for it is costly and futile. Instead of trying to overcome the uncertainty that is in the world, the system designer should embrace it and use it as a tool to solve the problems that it creates.
This is a book that should be read by anyone who has set the task for themselves of developing any system that must function in an uncertain environment. In short this is a book that should be read by anyone who is developing a system that will have to function within the real world
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
If you're interested in human factors in computing or in microsociological approaches (symbolic interactionism, ethnomethodology) or, especially, the relationship between the two, Suchman gives a very mature, erudite account that is both readable and adequate to both fields.

Ought to be a classic. The fact that it isn't widely known, particularly in contemporary sociology, is something of a travesty.
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