What does it mean to explore AI as a system, and not an object? This session introduces a simple framework for considering the human, environmental and technological factors that comprise an AI system.

Learning to observe and identify these factors is an important first step to designing and maintaining responsible, sustainable AI systems. Participants will practice observing influences on the design of an AI system. Focusing on one application of an AI system participants will re-consider the human, environmental and technological factors that are influencing its purpose—and which it is influencing.

Once that’s done, what does it mean to declare that a system is more than the sum of its parts? How do we build on our skill in recognising the components of an AI enabled system to an understanding of the relationships among them? Learning to see these relationships can be dizzying; how do we look? How do we learn to see a system from multiple vantage points?

In this workshop participants will move from observing and identifying human, environmental and technical elements of a system to considering how they interact. Using the categories of agendas, infrastructure, agents, data, and processes, participants will practice imagining multiple systems that can be generated from similar sets of components. Recognizing that a cybernetic system is defined by the dynamics among components is an important first step to defining and exploring possibilities for steering current and future systems.

group size up to 30
default length 3 hours
delivery mode in-person (online option)

Learning Outcomes#

At the end of the session, participants will be able to:

  1. identify and analyse the human, environmental, and technological dynamics that comprise complex systems

  2. consider the workings of a cybernetic system from multiple vantage points

  3. describe potential outcomes when an element or relationship in the system changes

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