Skip to main content

DSGN 495-24: Designing with Intelligence

Quarter Offered

Fall : Tuesdays, 6:30-9:30pm in the Ford ITW ; Kristian Hammond


MMM only


Over the past ten years, we’ve seen example after example of the power of data as a lens on the world and analytics as a means to draw insight from them. More recently, we have seen dramatic progress in the use of Artificial Intelligence and Cognitive Computing in the development of systems that can recognize and respond to complex information. And it is becoming clear that the change caused by these technologies has just begun. It is also becoming clear that intelligent systems need to be designed to partner with rather than replace or even augment human users. To do this, we need to go beyond the machine’s reasoning abilities and consider how to design integrations of machine and human intelligence.

This argues that the future of intelligent systems comprises at least three elements: data analytics, artificial intelligence and human cognition. Analytics provide us with the ability to map data onto the world of meaning and insight. Artificial intelligence empowers us by using that meaning to support reasoning and problem solving. And deeper understanding of human cognitive skills (and deficits) allows us to integrate these functionalities into effective and meaningful human systems. Integrating these three elements will provide us with the ability to create systems of intelligence that coordinate the best of human and machine capabilities.

The class format includes guest lectures and instructor lectures, with a high degree of student involvement and discussion. Assignments include research and writing, but are primarily “demo projects” in which small teams will build working prototypes which demonstrate various interactions, and present these in class.

This class will be focused on the exploration of Integrated Intelligence, and what it means to design systems that combine the best of human and machine cognition. We will look beyond the algorithm in the abstract to explore how the technologies of intelligence, both human and machine, can be drawn together to increase impact in the world. It is predicated on the idea that the strengths from these areas can be coordinated to amplify their impact. This exploration will start with the examination of the current state of AI and analytics technologies, take an excursion into some of the issues surfaced in the psychology of judgment and decision-making and then move into the issues of building systems that include the former integrated with the latter.

Back to top