Advancing the Value of Ethnography

Doing Design Research in a Cognitive World


EPIC2017 Platinum Panel


Increasingly, experiences are being created that incorporate augmented intelligence, promising to make us smarter, more efficient, and more effective. Doctors can recommend more comprehensive personalized treatment plans, teachers can provide lesson plans tailored to individual students, and farmers can vary crop irrigation and fertilization cycles in response to predicted weather patterns. Human capabilities (some might say intelligence) are being augmented, aided by machine learning algorithms that interpret and find meaning in vast quantities of both structured and unstructured data.

This panel addresses challenges of doing design research in a cognitive world where predictive analytics, conversational interfaces, and augmented intelligence are core aspects of the technology solutions being designed. What skills and expertise are needed by practitioners to integrate these new cognitive capabilities into their work practices? How do “users” make sense of, derive insights from, and use sophisticated analytics? Is the meaning of expertise and professional identity altered when our cognitive capabilities are augmented through partnerships with machines?

In keeping with the theme of this year’s conference, the panelists reflect on what new vantage points will be needed to ready our practices for this new cognitive era.