Following such a principle, I could have already set up a number of ready-made icons, such as a smile or a sad frown etc, that they would choose by just typing them to the compiler.
I don’t want to imply that a completely unfamiliar user can actually learn Java in 5 minutes and I have to admit that I had already explained the basic parts of the program to them and showed them exactly which parts they were allowed to modify. The interesting fact of their attempt is that HAL actually provoked them to deal with the idea of programming that in any other case they probably would not.
During the course of the experiment , I sent to one of the subjects that was about to leave for one month holiday in Tai Pei,a message displaying an aeroplane taking off with the text “HAPPY HOLIDAY”. The subject within half an hour had responded with a message displaying an ice cream with the text “SUMMER” in order to express her holiday mood. The interesting fact that I want to underline is the feedback she sent me about her experience.
“I have very limited knowledge and experience in computer program design.. Panayiotis kindly gave me a chance to write up a program and to design a code to test if we could communicate through the device he designed. At first, he showed me how to operate the device, including
installing the program and basic operation of the lights and writing up of the program. For a beginner, it took me about
10 minutes to get familiar and operate independently without difficulties. It took me another 15 minutes to design a picture/signal and to write up the program for the signal. I was so proud that I was able to make my first “communicative” signal with lights and sent it back to him. He successfully figured out my message. Through this test, Panayiotis demonstrated an interesting way
to communicate and stimulate our feelings.
Using Everyday Objects as Communication tools
Fig. 59 The message with the taking off aeroplane
Fig. 60 The subject in her room
Fig. 61 The subject’s reply