Uncanny AI: How to spot a mutant algorithm

The video above was an outcome from the Uncanny AI project and has resulted in various research publications describing how Design Research is a key tool to understand the socio-technical issues arising from Artificial Intelligence. Based on this work we ran the How to spot a mutant algorithm event at the ESRC Festival of Social Science 2020 . It utilised a set of icons designed to enable legibility of AI systems, these icons were developed based on several in-person workshops. Because the festival couldn’t happen in person due to Covid-19, our normal offline events were replaced by an interactive online game in order to explore the usability of the icons and then to facilitate a conversation about key issues relating to AI. This work highlights the gap between the common concerns of citizens and research agendas.

Participants watched the following video while in the waiting room, it visualises some of the icons which were used at the event.

The whole project uses Design Research to explore the ‘Definitional Dualism’ of AI and has been presented at the 2020 CHI conference where the paper Researching AI Legibility through Design was published.

Written by

Dr Joseph Lindley

Joe leads Design Research Works and is a Senior Research Fellow at Lancaster University. He is passionate about the value of Design Research, in particular in applying that value to the challenges associated with emerging technologies, rapid societal change, and living sustainably. Probably best described as a 'generalist' his research practice usually involves material engagements with possible futures.