Role of UX in AI



As Artificial Intelligence continues to evolve, it is important we look at the role of UX in AI. How can we anticipate the types of user challenges that may occur, and how can we try to mitigate those?

Here are some challenges that AI presents in the UX world:
  • The AI may not understand the nuances behind what people say and do, but we do for the most part. The AI needs to recognize the user inputs (words, emojis, gifs, actions, and non-actions) and designers can associate these inputs to possible explicit and implicit user emotions for the AI to learn.
  • The AI will be more successful in achieving data if it speaks the same language as the user, literally and figuratively. How the AI represents itself through tone of voice, ways of communication, cultural references, and personality all affect the relationship. Study how the target user communicates with computers, friends, family, and service providers to develop a style for dynamic dialogue. Have the AI communicate in digestible bits, and show empathy and acknowledgement when appropriate. Make difficult questions easy for users to answer to increase the likelihood of getting user data.
  • It will take time to improve the UX. Focus on retrieving user data to do this.

  • Machine learning won’t figure out what problems to solve. If you aren’t aligned with a human need, you’re just going to build a very powerful system to address a very small—or perhaps nonexistent—problem.
  • If the goals of an AI system are opaque, and the user’s understanding of their role in calibrating that system are unclear, they will develop a mental model that suits their folk theories about AI, and their trust will be affected.

  • If a human can’t perform the task, then neither can an AI.

  • It's important for us to recognize the amount of nuance, aesthetic instincts, and personal history that we often take for granted when evaluating the quality of our photos and videos.
    • We need to train models on what bad imaging looks like: hands in front of the camera, quick and shaky movements, blurriness.
  • Exploring ways to augment human capability - the role of AI shouldn’t be to find the needle in the haystack for us, but to show us how much hay it can clear so we can better see the needle ourselves. This can be finding and addressing real human needs, upholding human values, and designing for augmentation, not automation.

AI will only continue to make a larger appearance in the UX world. As UX researchers, it is important we recognize the challenges AI presents in the role of UX, and we create solutions in the early stages.

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