Computational Semiotics

I wrote a critical paper entitled Beyond the Interface: Mediating Human Computer Interaction for a course in the History of Communication at Regent University in Fall 2013.


Humans and computers live together. They work collaboratively, almost in a seemingly symbiotic relationship. Humans use and rely upon technology, and nearly every facet of human existence and experience is tied to computer interaction and involvement. Technology and technological advances are everywhere – from the digital clock to the microwave oven to the OnStar system in automobiles – in fact, computers are such an integral part of our lives that we would find it difficult to live and function without them.

The history of the personal computer and the Internet is known generally by most technologically-savvy users, though many might not know the specifics, the key players, the events and the factors, leading up to the developments that are commonplace today. Computers and their use as well as human interaction and communication are one specific area that many users may accept as part of the overall technological package, but they might not know the significance of human computer interaction or why research into this discipline is proving to be especially valuable to computer scientists, academic researchers, designers, engineers, and others interested in developing technology to assist humans and to facilitate communication between them.

The focus of this paper is to briefly discuss the historical context of human computer interaction (HCI) and to review the cultural significance of HCI as it relates to human computer communication (HCC). Given the brevity of this paper, it would be impossible to fully discuss the implications and ramifications of HCI and HCC. Therefore, this paper will seek to introduce the topic, provide general background and contextual information, identify current research interests, and discuss ways in which HCI is influencing experience interaction, design interaction, and communicative processes necessary to create environments leading to social interaction and presence.