In the vast realm of AI technology, there exists a dynamic duo that champions inclusivity like no other — usability and accessibility.
Today, I thought I would mix things up a little. Instead of just telling you why UX needs to be at the center of the AI usability and accessibility discussion, I’d like to tell you a story.
For as long as she can remember, Maya has dreamed of becoming a writer. She sees writing as not only a means of creative expression, but also a way for her to connect with the world and share her unique perspective. Maya has a keen sense of observation, an empathetic nature, and an ability to uncover beauty in the smallest of details.
But alas, she faces a formidable challenge — most AI systems lack the necessary accessibility features to accommodate her needs.
You see, Maya is vision impaired.
Fueled by a belief that technology holds the key to unlocking her full potential as a writer, Maya’s determination is unwavering. She embarks on a quest to find an AI system that embraces inclusivity.
This turns out to be a greater challenge than she expected.
After many frustrating attempts, Maya finally stumbles upon a user-led company that has meticulously crafted their AI system. Using UX best practices as their baseline, they had a day-one approach focused on usability and accessibility. They committed to features such as screen readers, adjustable text sizes, and high contrast settings.
Maya had found her AI hero. Brimming with excitement, she plunges headfirst into the AI system. She’s quickly realizes that her UX superheroes crafted an an interface that provides her direction with clarity and intuitiveness.
For Maya, content generation has finally become effortless.
By ensuring that usability and accessibility were the building blocks of the AI, the UX team has empowered it to understand Maya’s unique needs and requirements. Without that foundation, Maya could not have had an equitable and inclusive experience.
Essential emphasis: The scope of AI’s knowledge is inherently limited to what it has been taught. As we recall the notion of “bad in, bad out” from the the Ethical AI article, it becomes clear that a similar principle applies: “no in, no out.” Without of proper guidance, the AI lacks the understanding of requirements and guidelines necessary to produce desired outcomes. This highlights the crucial role of human intervention in shaping AI’s capabilities. By providing explicit instructions, setting clear boundaries, and establishing ethical frameworks, we empower AI systems to align their actions with our desired outcomes. It is through our guidance and expertise that we shape AI’s understanding and ensure its responsible and beneficial application. Take a moment to recognize the profound impact of our involvement in the AI training process. Our role as knowledgeable and ethical practitioners imbues AI with the wisdom it requires to navigate complexities, make informed decisions, and uphold the values we hold dear. Together, we can harness the transformative potential of AI while safeguarding against the unintended consequences that arise in its absence.
With her AI Hero’s assistance, Maya unleashes her creativity like never before. In a whirlwind of content creation, the AI offers personalized suggestions and recommendations catered to her specific writing style. It helps her translate her content into multiple languages with precision, opening up new audiences she could never had reached before. Maya’s new partnership with her AI hero leaves her feeling heard, valued and empowered.
In other words, Maya’s dream of becoming a writer is finally coming into focus.
Through Maya’s journey, we gain a deeper appreciation for her resilience, creativity, and unwavering spirit. Maya’s represents countless individuals who face similar challenges, underscoring the importance of creating technology that empowers and enables people of all abilities to pursue their dreams.
Her story also exemplifies the transformative power of UX in championing inclusivity. By prioritizing usability and accessibility, the AI Hero broke down barriers, allowing individuals like Maya to pursue their dreams without limitations. Inclusive design principles have become the guiding light, transforming Maya’s experience, providing her with equal opportunities, and amplifying her voice.
Let’s continue our quest to make tech for all by embracing usability and accessibility. This is the only way to ensure that AI technology becomes a tool that empowers and uplifts users from all backgrounds and abilities. Together, we can ensure that all of the “Maya’s” out there are included in a world where everyone’s voice is heard, valued, and celebrated.
Join me a we continue this journey to keep UX at the heart of AI, where inclusivity reigns supreme and barriers crumble before the might of thoughtfully designed technology.