Goal: new generation of problem solving systems.
Intelligent user interfaces are used to integrate interfaces
and knowledge bases.
Traditionally in AI Intelligent interfaces are classified in
1-Intelligent interfaces (intelligence is in the discourse mechanism)
2-Interfaces to intelligent systems (to Expert systems).
The authors then explore the meaning of cooperative problem solving, where the user is not only answering questions but he is actively collaborating with the system to find a solution.
Situated Cognition Perspective.
They talk a bit about situated problem solving, referencing Lucy Suchman.
They study a warehouse to see how service man solve the problems brought about by customers.
The main idea is that the problem solver must not only be in
the interface or in the knowledge base, but an integrated system.
Human-computer communication is more than user interface: it requires providing the computer with a considerable body of knowledge about the word, about he users, and about communications processes.
Then the come up with an architecture for problem solving systems. Or better a design environment whose main characteristic is to be not general but domain oriented and integration among its component (a construction kit, an argumentative hypermedia system, a catalog, a specification component, a simulation components.)
They are still in the era of expert system technologies. They claim that interface alone or expert systems alone are not sufficient. So they try to integrate them. They use communication as a thread to their work and try to set some important aspects of communication and they try to use them as principle to build their systems.
It looks like they say, ok we study interfaces but they are not what is important, what is important is what is below the interface. Interfaces alone cannot be intelligent. What is needed is a system that is able to communicate with the user.