How to be Human in a World of AIs: Human-centered Design and Data Science
How to be Human in a World of AIs: Human-centered Design and Data Science


Data science is evolving. Instead of automating human jobs, we’re thinking about augmenting human work. Data products are consumed by humans, so as a discipline we need a clear answer to the question: How de we design data for humans? We've all made a dashboard that no one looked at, modeled an outcome that didn't help decision-makers, or created a visualization that was inscrutable. By using techniques from human-centered design, we can avoid these pitfalls and spread the impact of our work.

This talk will cover the concrete ways in which data scientists can drive greater change in their organizations. We’ll work through a case study of increasing usage of mobile money among poor and rural populations in Tanzania. Mobile money can help provide income stability that lifts people out of poverty, and there is a wealth of data that everyone in the system needs to use to improve outcomes. We’ll look at concrete tools data scientists can use to engage their users and talk about industry trends in the AI “User Experience” that are transforming how data we think about data.

It is time for data science to go from a mindset of “desiging for” to “designing with."


Peter is a co-founder at DrivenData, who's mission is to bring the power of data science to the social sector. DrivenData builds software that uses data and artificial intelligence for non-profits, NGOs, and governments. DrivenData also engages a global community of data scientists is online competitions that leverage data for the greater good. Recently he has worked on projects in lung cancer prediction, anti-human-trafficking, crop yield modeling, and digital financial services for rural populations. He earned his master's in Computational Science and Engineering from Harvard. Previously he worked as a software engineer at Microsoft and earned a BA in philosophy from Yale University.

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