Special Topic: Designing AI – As part of the AAAI Symposia series (2017–2018), Elizabeth Churchill (Google), Molly Steenson (CMU), Mike Kuniavsky (PARC) and I organized a gathering of researchers and practitioners from various disciplines to discuss the UX of AI & ML. Our main interest in organizing these events was to discuss the HCI and design-practice implications of the current fascination with and adoption of artificial intelligence and machine learning in user-facing products.

Prototyping Ways of Prototyping AI – Given the differences in design goals and strategies for autonomous systems, I believe that new tools are needed that help designers build working prototypes for both exploration and application. These tools should provide ways of working around the difficult aspects of AI and enable designers and others to quickly experiment and iterate so they can build their understanding and design better systems. With an exploratory and playful perspective, Phil van Allen’s article “Prototyping Ways of Prototyping AI” describes a toolkit he recently developed and is refining with his students. The tool is itself a prototype that asks the questions: What should an AI prototyping tool look like? What affordances do AI designers need? What are the new requirements for the design of AI?