The future of humanistic-AI & participatory design

The future of humanistic-AI & participatory design


The future of humanistic-AI & participatory design

Written by
Sandeep Ozarde

07 min read

Written by
Sandeep Ozarde

07 min read


The future of humanistic-AI & participatory design

Human-machine interaction makes AI powerful and transformative. That's why IBM calls AI augmented intelligence, not artificial. This is a critical difference. IBM favours systems that build on human expertise rather than those that try to replicate it.

Participatory Design can help create ideas for the AI System through diverse methods. However, it only represents the design space for the period of the project, and users need to have a basic understanding of what AI can do and not do (Bratteteig & Verne, 2018).

Don Norman believes that good emotional design works on three levels: visceral, behavioural, and reflective. The visceral level concerns itself with the aesthetic or attractiveness of an object. The behavioural level considers the function and usability of the product. And the reflective level takes into account prestige and value; this is often influenced by the branding of a product.

“Despite the recent AI successes, common sense which is trivially easy for people - is remarkably difficult for AI.” - Oren Etzioni, AI2

“Rationalists and humanistic designers approach the ethics and human impact of AI in very different ways. The rationalistic perspective is characterised by an emphasis on the development of aggregated or normative models and principles. Through “enlightened trial and error,” the design perspective focuses on examining the messiness of the human situation (Winograd, 1996).”

To thrive in a post-pandemic world, we must leverage technology and humanistic design. The adoption of technologies such as artificial intelligence, combined with an emphasis on productivity, efficiency, and systems thinking, has shifted our focus away from those who enable our own abilities over the last decade.

Combining participatory design and humanistic-AI design methodologies will aid in the achievement of the United Nations sustainable development goals. Sustainability is not solely concerned with environmentalism in the conventional sense. "Sustainable" refers to environmental health, economic vitality, and social benefits.

Artificial intelligence is based on probabilistic models. This means that they are not programmed but rather taught. Due to the fact that they are being taught, they require context in order to apply their knowledge. Designers can assist an AI in comprehending its place in the world and contributing value.

  • The 1969 MIT Press book "The Sciences of the Artificial" by Herbert A. Simon is a seminal work in the learning sciences and artificial intelligence, particularly in design theory. Since then, subjects such as design techniques, design research, design science, and design thinking have all contributed to the expansion of knowledge about design theory.
  • McKinsey predicts that by 2030, roughly 70% of businesses will be utilising at least one type of AI technology, and roughly half of all large businesses will have a full suite of AI technologies embedded in their processes.
  • AI Economy: AI decision-making has the potential to significantly boost global economic output, with estimates ranging as high as $13 trillion by 2030, or an additional 1.2 percent of global GDP for those keeping score at home.

Of course, we want AI to accomplish critical social goals efficiently and effectively, such as increasing access to education, justice, and healthcare. The COVID-19 pandemic has prompted a discussion about how artificial intelligence is being used: for example, it enables us to reduce the need for our fellow citizens to perform dangerous and time-consuming tasks associated with providing vital services.

HCI professionals, in particular, should take the lead in developing human factors within HAI by developing explainable and understandable AI in addition to useful and usable AI. The HCI community's work should include research on human-machine integration, user interface modelling, and human-computer interaction design, as well as the transfer of psychological theories, the improvement of existing methods, and the development of HCI design standards, all of which will serve as a comprehensive disciplinary foundation for HAI solutions. Businesses must understand how humans can power machines more efficiently, how machines can enhance what humans do best, and how to adapt business processes to support partnerships in order to reap the full benefits of this collaboration.

The designers will feed the algorithms with rules, conditions, and data. The algorithms will then perform the tasks. Uizard is another tool that accelerates the design process through the use of artificial intelligence. Automatic generation of Unreal Engine, MetaHuman, DigitalHumans,, Soul Machines, Amelia, Sketch, Figma, and Miro files and front-end code speeds up UX Designers' workflow. Certain Figma plugins make use of machine learning to automate routine tasks.

Several fundamental issues remain:

  • In the near future, how will humanistic-AI-design evolve? For example, interfaces for the Metaverse, the IoT, autonomous vehicles, flying taxis, or telemedicine et al.
  • How do we develop design methods/tools that combine and complement human cognition's (attention, language, learning, memory, perception, and thought) strengths and machine intelligence's? Humanistic-AI Participatory Design, Human-AI Interaction, and Augmented Intelligence are just a few examples.

Regardless of the technology, intelligent design is required for AI tools. This entails taking into account the user's literacy level, cultural and social context, and the creation of engaging workflows. Understanding and solving problems should occur concurrently, and there is no end to the number of problems that can be discovered and designs that can be refined.

Artificial intelligence is a digital representation of human thought processes. AI emulates the human brain through data mining, pattern recognition, and natural language processing. AI is for improved decision-making; in theory, AI can perform data crunching, trend spotting, anomaly detection, and complex analysis. The final decision is then made by a human or completely automated.

Today, any aspect of our lives can be governed by an intelligent system that takes over critical decision-making processes without our knowledge. These technologies must be designed in such a way that they account for both the expected and unexpected. We begin by developing and designing transformative technologies, which is where we are at the moment.

"Given the complexities inherent in presenting patient stories through various modes of mediation, these new data science techniques will benefit from the insights of humanities scholars who are experts at interpreting stories in complex intersubjective, social, and cultural contexts. While the non-standard format of narrative prose complicates the interpretation and coding of traditional data analysis programmes (Bresnick 2017), humanities scholars argue that the nuanced and context-sensitive style of physicians notes makes them a valuable source."

The prospect of gaining access to thousands of patient histories and corroboration across a broad range of pathways suggests that NLP-based, AI-based narrative medicine has the potential to humanise care delivery. On a larger scale, leading healthcare organisations throughout the world have begun to emphasise the critical nature of patient perspectives in healthcare and research.

This enables the collection of critical knowledge about the efficacy of empirical stakeholder participation, emerging context-sensitive requirements, socio-technical solutions, and human-computer interaction as a result of design roadmaps. We as designers believe that these systems should be developed with a broader, deeper, and more diverse community participation. After all, humans and machines are more likely to collaborate than compete.

"Artificial intelligence will inevitably become a part of our daily lives." - Yvette Vaughn, director of the New Jersey Institute of Technology's Social Interaction Laboratory and a leading expert on human-computer interaction

"By 2030, artificial intelligence will mean that advanced intelligence will play an increasingly important role in collaborating with people from all walks of life, enhancing their advanced and powerful cognitive abilities and opportunities for learning in the human field."
- Tom Hood, accounting and corporate finance expert

Among the critics are those from the fields of medicine, law, accounting, engineering, and technology. "Algorithmic machine learning will serve as our intelligent accelerator, fully exploring data and structure in ways that humans are incapable of doing alone," said anonymous interviewee Tim Morgan. When compared to Jeopardy!, chess, checkers, and the creepy computer game that beats humans at games like Go.

Artificial intelligence is rapidly improving at many "human" tasks, including disease diagnosis, language translation, and customer service. On the other hand, research on the impact of AI on the workplace suggests that intelligent agents and robots could eliminate 30% of the world's human labour by 2030. On the other hand, we are told that the economic shift will be so profound that entrepreneurs, engineers, and economists will face a "significant new challenge" - the commitment to develop technology that complements, not replaces, human labour.

Instead of focusing exclusively on visual and interactive design, HCI designers should consider an AI-centric approach, dynamic function allocation between humans and machines, and prioritising the use of artificial intelligence functions (such as intelligent search, real-time user behaviour, contextual information, understanding human-machine gesture controls and voice input) to eliminate repetitive human operations and create a more intuitive user interface.