Sarah Pagliaccio, independent designer (USA)
Abstract:The historical data we use to train the machines in AI continue to reflect biases that many of us have hoped to relegate to the past. If you ask the machines, women belong in the home and black men belong in prison. So what should you do if your company requires you to design an app that relies on big data that might be faulty or relies on technologies such as voice- or facial-recognition that have proven to perpetuate gender and racial biases? Start by understanding what these biases are, where they come from, and where they pop up in our design processes and design tools. Designers who own the user experience of a company, product, or service can and should address these inequities by knowing which industries have been perpetuating historic racism and sexism; knowing what’s in the data sets that power an app; working with data-analytics team to understand what data are captured by an app; understanding how biases can be perpetuated in our designs because of ingroup and outgroup bias and the influences of working in white, male dominated tech and arts communities; and knowing where biases show up in the software and services we use when we are designing like Sketch, Adobe XD, and speech, image, and name generators. Finally we will discuss how we can harness machine learning technologies like text sentiment analysis to combat our own biases and improve our design work. If equity through design is a goal, then it’s incumbent on us as designers to understand and combat the inequities inherent in the AI-powered software we are designing and the tools we are designing with.
Short CV: Principal and Founder of Black Pepper, Sarah Pagliaccio is an innovator, educator, and award-winning user experience designer, who leads multi-disciplinary design teams, and creates responsive sites and native apps for B2B and B2C customers across platforms and devices in healthcare, financial services, and not-for-profit orgs with a focus on fighting unconscious bias and designing for equal access. Sarah Pagliaccio designs and educates at the intersection of tech, design, and the humanities. Sarah teaches Interaction Design at Lesley University College of Art + Design and writes and lectures on bias in AI and user experience.