Computer-mediated forms of communication (i.e., social media, texting) have quickly become the predominant way that we keep in touch with one another. Such a profound change calls for a reexamination of the role that digital systems play in human connection. It seems necessary to intentionally explore the ability for technology to enhance rather than detract from emotional intimacy.
Closer Worlds is an ML-assisted 2-person experience which asks personal questions and creates images in a playful world-building scenario. This project seeks to empower users to engage in meaningful conversations by using low-stakes, creative play to offer a comfortable space for vulnerability.
To understand the effectiveness of design principles inspired by facilitation research, we have conducted a first-phase pilot study on an MVP. Our goal is to advance the project through future iterations and research assessments.
Findings from a first pilot study was published as a late-breaking work in CHI 2023