Inner Circle

Inner Circle --- JoshuaKerievsky 12 Dec 2001

... features that help to complete TheContextOfOurLives, including AwarenessOfPresence, PrivacyGradient and InterruptionGradient, AwayMessages can be more responsive and intelligent when there is an awareness of who is close to us or semi-close or not close at all.

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Our level of familiarity with people often plays a role in how we decide to communicate with them. Yet most communication software doesn't know who is a loved one or a friend or a stranger. Consequently, the software behaves in one way regardless of who we're communicating with or who attempts to communicate with us.

Software often lacks signs of intelligence because it simply doesn't let us help make it more intelligent. We co-habitate with it but can't teach it much.

It doesn't have to be that way.

We don't expect today's software to do our thinking for us, but we can expect it to behave in ways that will enhance our lives. One way to do that is to teach the software how we would like it to behave when we are communicating with different individuals or groups.

Technically, this isn't even very hard to do. The trick is to make it simple enough for everyday users to easily control.


Depict levels of familiarity using a sequence of named circles---the smallest of which corresponds to our Inner Circle, the largest of which corresponds to strangers or near-strangers. Let users add, move or remove people from these circles, add new circles and change circle labels. Make the knowledge contained in the circles accessible to other features in the software, such that they may be configured to behave differently based on the identify of who we communicate with or who would communicate with us.

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With Inner Circle knowledge, a ?QuickChat could be smart enough to know what we repeatedly say to folks in our various circles. For example, if I often use a chat program to tell my wife or kids that I'm "leaving the office now and will be home in 30 minutes," the chat program could record that phrase and allow me to easily send it to my wife or kids, when I'm chatting with them.

UniversalAccess provides a way to make Inner Circle knowledge accessible from any machine.


Last edited December 24, 2002
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