Richard Banks

Principal Design Manager - Microsoft Research

Tackling design’s absence from the AI development process

AI is emerging as a prevalent feature of many digital products, but interaction designers are absent when these systems and their capabilities are defined and trained. Instead, they deal with the output of AI models, left merely to mitigate their negatives and amplify their positives in the user experience. How might designers create more value for people by getting involved earlier in the process of AI development? What role might they play in helping define these system’s capabilities, working to both alleviate poor ethical outcomes as well as align the system’s value with real need?

In this talk, Richard will discuss the work he has done to embed himself more deeply in the AI team he is part of, and the strategies he has employed to better involve himself in complex system’s development. What are some of the key challenges for getting involved, and how can design artefacts be used to really add value to a complex domain of engineering?

About the speaker:

Richard is Principal Design Manager for Microsoft Research in their lab in Cambridge, UK. His focus is on the issues and opportunities raised by artificial intelligence for people, as well as design practice. He is currently working on Project Alexandria, an AI system for uncovering and making knowledge useful at work.

Richard is the author of “The Future of Looking Back”, a book which focuses on new digital legacies and their potential impact on memory and reminiscing. He is honorary Professor of Design at the University of Dundee and Honorary Senior Visiting Fellow in the Department of
Computer Science at City, where he also holds an Honorary Doctorate. He is a fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, and holds over 44 patents in a broad range of technology areas.