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Andrew Skalet

1.1 I thought the most interesting part of the article was the comparision between the traditional cognitive science approach where each individual has an internal representation of the ouside world, and the more social approach of distributed cognition, where cognition can occur across multiple individuals, and objects can even be involved in cognition. It seems that intelligent objects have a potential to have a significant impact on distributed cognition systems, like the 747-400 automated flight system they discribed, but perhaps more objects in everyday life.

1.2 Though the article claimed to present a unified framework for research, I felt that it did not quite meet that goal. The advice to take an ethnographic approach to collaborative systems is signficant to be sure, but how we can use this approach to improve human-computer interaction in collaborative systems is not covered very much.

2. I think the main message of the article is that we need to move beyond the traditional cognitive science approach to understand human-computer interaction in collaborative environments. we can use Cognitive ethnography to collect data on these systems to understand them better, which will be the best way to improve human-computer interaction in these systems.

4.1 Distributed cognition is where a problem is solved or an idea is developed by multiple individuals, possibly using simple or complex tools.

4.2 Ethnography is observing, documenting, and analyzing social systems, it is almost an anthropological approach. in the context of cognition, Ethnography can be used to study information and idea manipulation within groups.

4.3 Active representations provide a manipulable model of some separate object. The best example I can think of is a Finite Element Model of a mechanical object. A mechanical engineer can test nearly all properties of the object before it is even manufactured.

5.1 I have talked about this some already, but the old foundations concern individuals' internal representation of external systems (traditional cognitive science), and don't really focus on a collection of individuals and (possibly) tools.

5.2 I didn't know much about distributed cognition before I read this paper, so these foundations seem entirely new to me. I do not have historical knowledge of the evolution of these ideas, however.

6. I would be particularly interested in how people (and groups) interact with slightly intelligent objects, like toys or around-the-house type tools, and how that compares with interactions with unintelligent objects. I think this could provide some insight compared with HCI with complex computer systems, where people are "geared up" to use the system.

7. The CLever project uses distributed cognition in a coiuple of ways. The most obvious one is a distribution of cognition (computation, in this case) between the individual being helped and the PDA itself. The PDA tries to present things in an intelligent way so that actions are obvious to the person being helped. There is also a distribution of cognition between the caretaker and the user. the caretaker does some of the cognition "up front" before the user ever tries to take the bus, or navigate to a destination. In this aspect, the PDA becomes a bridge object, to connect the cognition of the caretaker with that of the user.

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