Penelope Rance

My UX research & design ramblings

UXPA - World Usability Day 2020: Human Centered AI

World Usability Day is one of the most important days in UXPA's calendar, and this year was no different, even if it was a remote event.

This year the focus was on Human Centred AI (Artificial Intelligence) and Tim Daines, Lead Service Designer for Hospital Operations Hitachi Vantara, and Laura Musgraves, Senior UX Researcher at Ronin Institute, spoke on two areas of this subject, data science and building AI; and smart homes and using AI.

While they were two very different talks I think it was really interesting that similar themes came from both.

Relationships came out as being really important.

  1. For the team building an AI working together and not in silos and
  2. For the people using the AI and how their relationship with the AI works

When designing an AI there is much to think about.

For an AI to work firstly you need to understand the problem the AI is going to work on. The most important question at this point is, do you even need an AI?

You then need to think about how the AI will interact with humans. There needs to be trust and transparency, although this is often missing.

While there may be many benefits, you need to be aware of the risks and consequences of using an AI.

Privacy is just one of the risks that comes up. Do people understand what will happen to their data and just what data is being picked up?

Interestingly Tim said that European data can only be worked with in Europe by law. If your development team is in Asia that will be a problem.

Then you have to think how far do we take AI? If people are going to work with AI how will that relationship work in the future of that job?

If it is in someone’s home we need to be aware that it is not just the person who bought it into the home that is being recorded and using it, but also family members, guests and people working in the house.

Humans like to have control, so how do we balance humans feeling like they have control while letting the AI do its job?

These talks were just the tip of the iceberg, and both Tim and Laura made suggestions on how you can find out more about AI if you are curious and want to learn more.

It was an interesting evening and discussion on a subject that I did not know much about, but I know a lot more now!

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