Making AI Understandable by Making it Tangible: Exploring the Design Space with Ten Concept Cards

Maliheh Ghajargar, Jeffrey Bardzell

Session: Tangibles and AI - Wednesday 2022-11-30 14:00-15:30 AEDT
Late Breaking Work and Case Studies Track
Remote Presentation


The embodiment of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in everyday use products is raising challenges and opportunities for HCI and design research, such as human understandings of AI’s functions and states, passing back and forth of control, AI ethics, and user experi-ence, among others. There has been progress in those areas, such as works on explainable AI (XAI); fairness, accountability, and transparency (FAccT); human-centered AI; and the development of guidelines for Human-AI interaction design. Similarly, the in-terest in studying interaction modalities and their contributions to understandable and transparent AI has been also growing. How-ever, the tangible and embodied modality of interaction and more broadly studies of the forms of such everyday use products are relatively underexplored. This paper builds upon a larger project on designing graspable AI and it introduces a series of concept cards that aim to aid design researchers’ creative exploration of tangible and understandable AI. We conducted a user study in two parts of online sessions and semi-structured interviews and found out that to envision physicality and tangible interaction with AI felt challenging and “too abstract”. Even so, the act of creative exploration of that space not only supported our participants to gain new design perspectives of AI, but also supported them to go beyond anthropomorphic forms of AI.