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Designing AI for Humans: Conceiving, Designing and Evolving AI Solutions from a Human Centered Perspective

Maastricht Summer School
Netherlands, Maastricht
Maastricht Summer School Netherlands, Bonnefantenstraat 2, 6211 KL Maastricht, The Netherlands
Tuition fee €299 per programme


Michael Thompson

In the last few years, we’ve seen a proliferation of products and services relying on Artificial Intelligence to personalize, automate and sometimes replace human cognitive activities. And yet too many of these new solutions have led to dramatic market failures – leading to monetary and/or reputational harms. In this course, we will look at different categories of AI project failures, beyond the technology, to better understand what went wrong. This non-technical course is aimed at future data scientists who want to take a cross-disciplinary approach to building their AI solutions that enables them to consider their projects from multiple perspectives. But as AI will have an impact across many business and societal activities, this course also targets those interested in entrepreneurial, business and management programs.

Course Duration and Dates
This is a one week course running from the 19th of July until the 23rd of July, 2021. This course is planned to take place on-campus in Maastricht, the Netherlands. Due to COVID-19, we cannot guarantee that this scenario will be possible however. We will make a decision based on the latest government regulations on the 1st of May, 2021 and inform all applicants whether the course will take place on-campus or, need be, online.

The number of credits earned after successfully concluding this course is the equivalent of 2 ECTS according to Maastricht University MSS guidelines. For further information see the MSS terms and conditions

- Identify the different categories of AI project errors that might lead to reputational, financial or societal harm
- Introduce design processes, skills and profiles that must be considered as critical ingredients to any AI solution
- Explore practical cases where students can explore approaches to solving difficult challenges with AI projects

Instruction language

No prerequisites. While technology is an important component, this is not a technology course. Instead, students need only bring an exposure to and interest in how AI is rapidly reshaping our society. While this course if primarily relevant for students from DKE and Digital Society, it is also relevant for any program touching upon the implications of AI solutions – Economics, Law, Public Health, Health Sciences, International Business, Medicine, etc. Any student with a background in customer research, product design or service design will also find the content extremely relevant. There is also a strong ethics component that should resonate with a diversity of students’ programs. In fact, the more diverse the students’ programs of studies, the more relevant and useful the group work and practical exercises.

Recommend literature
Book: O’Neil, C. (2016) Weapons of math destruction : how big data increases inequality and threatens democracy. First edn. New York: Crown. [CHAPTER 4]
Video: “Nosedive.” Black Mirror. Netflix. Season 3. Episode 1.
Article: www.core77.com/posts/17993/Why-Design-Education-Must-Change?utm_source=core77&utm_medium=from_title
Article: André, Q., Carmon, Z., Wertenbroch, K., Crum, A., Douglas, F., Goldstein, W., . . . Yang, H. (2018). Consumer choice and autonomy in the age of artificial intelligence and big data. Customer Needs and Solutions, 5(1-2), 28-37. doi:http://dx.doi.org.ezxy.ie.edu/10.1007/s40547-017-0085-8
Article: www.technologyreview.com/s/613578/ai-algorithms-liability-human-blame/
Article: interactions.acm.org/archive/view/november-december-2018/design-and-fiction#R3
Article : medium.com/mit-technology-review/how-we-might-protect-ourselves-from-malicious-ai-5b7a895b75b3
Article: interactions.acm.org/archive/view/july-august-2017/intelligence-on-tap
Articles: design.google/library/ai/

Teaching methods
I will use cases derived from real-life AI solutions to illustrate cases for the students to work on. Each class will involve theory (as lecture) but also hands-on group work.

Assessment methods
Take home exam

Apply now! Summer Term 2020/21
Application deadline
30 Jun 2021 23:59:59
Europe/Amsterdam time
Studies commence
Jul 19, 2021

Application deadlines apply to citizens of: United States

Apply now! Summer Term 2020/21
Application deadline
30 Jun 2021 23:59:59
Europe/Amsterdam time
Studies commence
Jul 19, 2021

Application deadlines apply to citizens of: United States