SXSW 2020

The Accidental Ethicist: Making AI Human-Centered


In the last few years, many designers woke up to the huge implications of AI & data-driven tech. We’re facing the fact that we’re now all accidental ethicists.
It’s more than what many designers expected when they got into this practice.
So what’s a designer to do? As accidental ethicists ourselves, Jim Guszcza, Chief Data Scientist at Deloitte, and Molly Wright Steenson, an associate professor of design, AI and ethics at Carnegie Mellon will show you how human-centered approaches to design build your ethical toolkit. We will build on your existing knowledge and give you new ways to frame problems, design user behavior, and help to make AI more explainable—among other topics. We all have ethics and AI questions. This session gives you a way to start to answer them.

Related Media


  1. How you can frame problems in AI & data science from concept to execution in a way that takes ethics into consideration
  2. How different forms of human-centered design can be used to improve both deliberate decisions (“explainable AI”) & automatic decisions (“Nudges”)
  3. How to take the human-centered design practices you already use to the next level for more ethical approaches to AI and data-driven tech



Molly Steenson, Associate Professor, Carnegie Mellon University

Meta Information:

  • Event: SXSW
  • Format: Presentation
  • Track: Design
  • Track 2
  • Level: Intermediate

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