IdeaExpander is a system conceived by Hao-Chuan Wang that monitors an ongoing conversation and presents pictures related to the conversation. The original goal was to support group brainstorming; informed by models of associative memory and theoretical and empirical work on the processes and pitfalls around brainstorming, our goal was to present pictures as stimuli for new ideas without sacrificing the benefits of natural conversation.

We are still working on that aspect, particularly in the context of cross-cultural groups, where the diversity of backgrounds provides both extra potential for idea generation but also extra potential pitfalls for collaborative idea generation. We are also exploring ways to use IdeaExpander to support machine translation, allowing conversational partners to speak in their own language and using pictures to help repair the gaps and provide concrete topics of conversation.

Active: none, completed project
Past: (Faculty) Dan Cosley (Staff) Hao-Chuan Wang
  1. Wang, H.-C., Fussell, S. R., Cosley, D. (2013). Machine translation vs. common language: effects on idea exchange in cross-lingual groups. CSCW 2013. 935-944. [PDF] [Publisher]
  2. Wang, H.-C., Fussell, S., Cosley, D. (2011). From Diversity to Creativity: Stimulating Group Brainstorming with Cultural Differences and Conversationally-Retrieved Pictures. Proceedings of CSCW 2011. [PDF] [Publisher]
  3. Wang, H-C., Fussell, S. R., Cosley, D. (2010). Effects of visual stimuli on idea generation and discourse coherence in conversational brainstorming. Poster at Annual Meeting of the Society for Text & Discourse.
  4. Wang, H.-C., Cosley, D., Fussell, S.R. (2010). IdeaExpander: Supporting Group Brainstorming with Conversationally Triggered Visual Thinking Stimuli. Proceedings of CSCW 2010. [PDF] [Publisher]