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Unlocking the Potential: Data as a Medium for Design & Justice

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Unlocking the Potential: Data as a Medium for Design & Justice

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As a designer and data scientist, I work with data in service of meeting people’s needs. This data is inherently subjective, which is what makes it both an excellent medium for design and vulnerable to misuse. I’ll share what it means to design with data and how data science can contribute to and augment the design process. Once we see what’s exciting and newly possible, we’ll delve into why now, more than ever, human-centered design matters as we discuss ethics and the impact of AI designs on individuals, communities, and societies.

Talk given by Jess Freaner (IDEO) at UX Strategy Meetup in Chicago - November 2019

As a designer and data scientist, I work with data in service of meeting people’s needs. This data is inherently subjective, which is what makes it both an excellent medium for design and vulnerable to misuse. I’ll share what it means to design with data and how data science can contribute to and augment the design process. Once we see what’s exciting and newly possible, we’ll delve into why now, more than ever, human-centered design matters as we discuss ethics and the impact of AI designs on individuals, communities, and societies.

Talk given by Jess Freaner (IDEO) at UX Strategy Meetup in Chicago - November 2019

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Unlocking the Potential: Data as a Medium for Design & Justice

  1. 1. Unlocking the Potential DATA AS A MEDIUM FOR DESIGN & JUSTICE 11.19.2019 UNLOCKINGTHEPOTENTIAL UX Meetup
  2. 2. Jess Freaner Senior Design Lead & Data Scientist, IDEO MY POV: Data ethics, human-centered design of intelligent products, services & systems BACKGROUND: BA in Psychology, co-organizer of Chicago Data Science + Chicago’s Women in Machine Learning & Data Science (WiMLDS)
  3. 3. NATIONALDESIGNCONFERENCE2019
  4. 4. NATIONALDESIGNCONFERENCE2019 UNLOCKING THE POTENTIAL
  5. 5. UNLOCKING THE POTENTIAL SAN FRANCISCO PALO ALTO CHICAGO CAMBRIDGE LONDON MUNICH SHANGHAI TOKYO NEW YORK NATIONALDESIGNCONFERENCE2019
  6. 6. Founded in 1991, Chicago studio has 90+ designers of different backgrounds including researchers, artists, and data scientists. UNLOCKING THE POTENTIAL IDEO Chicago
  7. 7. ORGANIZATION DESIGNER INDUSTRIAL DESIGNER DESIGN RESEARCHER INTERACTION DESIGNER SYSTEMS DESIGNER CODER PHYSICIAN PROTOTYPER MECHANICAL ENGINEER COMMS DESIGNER ARCHITECT WRITER FOOD SCIENTIST MANUFACTURING SPECIALIST BUSINESS DESIGNER INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY HUMAN FACTORS DATA SCIENTIST
  8. 8. Data Science is my design discipline. UNLOCKINGTHEPOTENTIAL
  9. 9. What is data? UNLOCKINGTHEPOTENTIAL
  10. 10. Signals in the world that people decided to capture & quantify. UNLOCKINGTHEPOTENTIAL
  11. 11. UNLOCKINGTHEPOTENTIAL
  12. 12. UNLOCKINGTHEPOTENTIAL
  13. 13. UNLOCKINGTHEPOTENTIAL
  14. 14. UNLOCKINGTHEPOTENTIAL
  15. 15. UNLOCKINGTHEPOTENTIAL
  16. 16. UNLOCKINGTHEPOTENTIAL
  17. 17. UNLOCKINGTHEPOTENTIAL
  18. 18. UNLOCKINGTHEPOTENTIAL
  19. 19. Data is a human construct. UNLOCKINGTHEPOTENTIAL
  20. 20. Data is not truth. UNLOCKINGTHEPOTENTIAL
  21. 21. DESIGNFORAUGMENTEDINTELLIGENCE 21 Data is a 
 medium 
 for design.
  22. 22. UNLOCKINGTHEPOTENTIAL Subjectivity, intuition, choice & creativity
  23. 23. As new capabilities emerge, new potential for how we can meet people’s needs emerge. UNLOCKINGTHEPOTENTIAL
  24. 24. Augmented Intelligence Machine + Human UNLOCKINGTHEPOTENTIAL
  25. 25. UNLOCKINGTHEPOTENTIAL The design process gets us there.
  26. 26. The design process UNLOCKINGTHEPOTENTIAL
  27. 27. The design process UNLOCKINGTHEPOTENTIAL ASKING QUESTIONS BUILDING CONFIDENCE CONTINUOUS STORYTELLING
  28. 28. UNLOCKINGTHEPOTENTIAL Interrogating the data
  29. 29. Augmenting research tools UNLOCKINGTHEPOTENTIAL
  30. 30. Prototyping: building to learn & think UNLOCKINGTHEPOTENTIAL
  31. 31. Storytelling: immersive installation UNLOCKINGTHEPOTENTIAL Room of Change by Giorgia Lupi
  32. 32. Storytelling: simulating change UNLOCKINGTHEPOTENTIAL current proposed
  33. 33. There is subjectivity, intuition, choice & creativity in all three. UNLOCKINGTHEPOTENTIAL ASKING QUESTIONS BUILDING CONFIDENCE CONTINUOUS STORYTELLING
  34. 34. With all the subjectivity, biases seep in. UNLOCKINGTHEPOTENTIAL
  35. 35. This is true of all design. UNLOCKINGTHEPOTENTIAL
  36. 36. Gender bias in seatbelts “For millennia, [design] … has functioned on the assumption that male bodies can represent humanity as a whole.” - Caroline Criado-Pérez Invisible Women: Data bias in a world designed for men.
  37. 37. Gender bias in seatbelts The seatbelt is designed in such a way that a woman in a car crash is 17 percent more likely to die than a man.
  38. 38. Racial bias in photography: Shirley Cards “Photography is not just a system of calibrating light, but a technology of subjective decisions.” -Sarah Lewis Harvard University
  39. 39. Our data reflects priorities of the powerful. NATIONALDESIGNCONFERENCE2019
  40. 40. “Sometimes data cannot and should not speak on its own.” - Catherine D’Ignazio & Lauren Klein co-authors of Data Feminism Consider the context* *One of the 7 central tenets of “Data Feminism” by Catherine D’Ignazio & Lauren Klein
  41. 41. 99 Men + 1 Woman Sometimes power makes you more visible
  42. 42. Predictive policing and sentencing algorithms used in many US cities rely on data gathered disproportionally about some populations. Sometimes power means invisibility Machine Bias by ProPublica 2016
  43. 43. Colleges with higher sexual assault numbers can reflect the shifting incentives and increasing support structures for survivors. As visibility shifts so does our data
  44. 44. When working with data, being aware of this vulnerability is especially important. UNLOCKINGTHEPOTENTIAL
  45. 45. When working with data, designing for this vulnerability is especially important. UNLOCKINGTHEPOTENTIAL
  46. 46. UNLOCKINGTHEPOTENTIAL Why design matters with data Veneer of objectivity. Perpetuation of prior biases. Scale of unintended consequences.
  47. 47. When it has gone wrong SELF-PERPETUATION OF MALE INFLUENCE MISINTERPRETATION OF SEXUAL ASSAULT STATS NATIONALDESIGNCONFERENCE2019 99 Men + 1 Woman RACIAL DISPARITY IN PREDICTIVE POLICING
  48. 48. These examples are not the failures of algorithms… UNLOCKINGTHEPOTENTIAL
  49. 49. They are failures of design. UNLOCKINGTHEPOTENTIAL
  50. 50. We can do better. UNLOCKINGTHEPOTENTIAL
  51. 51. UNLOCKINGTHEPOTENTIAL Designing for Unintended Consequences
  52. 52. Data as a stakeholder HOW IS IT CREATED? WHO’S & WHAT’S MISSING?HOW IS IT BEING USED? UNLOCKINGTHEPOTENTIAL
  53. 53. UNLOCKINGTHEPOTENTIAL Anticipating future use cases 🦸 SUPERHERO 🦹 CAPITALIST 🤑 SUPERVILLIAN
  54. 54. UNLOCKINGTHEPOTENTIAL Capturing minimum viable data • Limit the amount of data to gather and retain. • Do you need to sense who is in a room, or simply that someone is there? • Do you need to know what someone said, or just the tone and volume of their voice? 🔒
  55. 55. UNLOCKINGTHEPOTENTIAL But you can’t anticipate everything, so how do you respond?
  56. 56. UNLOCKINGTHEPOTENTIAL Instagram’s anti-bully AI
  57. 57. UNLOCKINGTHEPOTENTIAL Resources to guide you.
  58. 58. UNLOCKINGTHEPOTENTIAL City of Chicago (in some ways) Chicago’s Array of Things (AoT) https://arrayofthings.github.io/
  59. 59. https://www.ajlunited.org/ UNLOCKINGTHEPOTENTIAL Algorithmic Justice League Research by Joy Buolamwini, MIT founder of AJL
  60. 60. UNLOCKINGTHEPOTENTIAL Data Feminism “Data is power, and that power is wielded unequally…” 
 - Catherine D’Ignazio & Lauren Klein https://is.gd/datafem
  61. 61. UNLOCKINGTHEPOTENTIAL IDEO’s data principles Data is Not Truth Don’t Presume the Desirability of Intelligent Systems Respect Privacy and the Collective Good Unintended Consequences of AI are Opportunities for Design
  62. 62. UNLOCKINGTHEPOTENTIAL IDEO’s POV & resources
  63. 63. Questions? UNLOCKINGTHEPOTENTIAL
  64. 64. Creative Tensions +
  65. 65. What’s a better font… or #creativetensions Papyrus? Comic sans?
  66. 66. Which are better… or #creativetensions Dogs? Cats?
  67. 67. Does data lead to… or #creativetensions Questions? Answers?
  68. 68. Does data help… or #creativetensions Personalize? Homogenize?
  69. 69. To reduce bias & harm caused by AI, we need… or #creativetensions More voices at the table More checks & balances
  70. 70. Methods used to measure algorithm “goodness” should be… or #creativetensions Equitable Objective
  71. 71. The ethical concerns that come along with AI are… or #creativetensions A whole new world Same s***, different day
  72. 72. Thank you! UNLOCKINGTHEPOTENTIAL Jess Freaner JFREANER@IDEO.COM

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