Key part to a Bot Persona, giving it a name.

The Tay fiasco has one clear learning: Artificial Intelligence needs to be designed. Just a couple weeks ago, Microsoft let a “blank mind” out into the wilds of twitter, intending the bot’s behavior to be built from its conversations with real people. Humans take several years to become angry, racist, sexist, and pretty much all the things we do not want our society to encourage. For Tay, it happened overnight. But is this surprising? Considering how the bot was developed, very little effort was put into how its programmers wanted Tay to conduct itself. This problem only becomes more pressing…


Talking with the world’s most powerful computer at Columbia University’s Watson Lab, 612 West 115th Street NYC, 5th floor rear, 1954

Note: this is a stab at figuring out what my Hyper Island Experience Design masters project will be about! I sincerely ask for and look forward to your feedback. Thanks! — Austin

It’s surprising how many of our decisions are already shaped by automated recommendations. They help us decide the next movie we should watch, what altitude our planes fly at, how much money impoverished countries are loaned, the temperature of our homes, what diagnosis to give, where to drive, how to collaborate with teams, and so much more. …


The final, interactive presentation of my team’s project, Playfully

“We do not teach hard skills here.” — Presentation by Lauren Currie

“Please come and present the hard skills you learned.” — Correspondence from SapientNitro, 6 months later


If you know me, you know that I love to ask some really bizarre questions. Here’s some of my favorite questions and some from friends. Reply with some of your favorites. I’ll keep updating as I remember/think of some more. -A

Riskiest thing you’ve done and who would you share it with.

Make your favorite animal sound

Name your partner’s favorite dessert. Check.

Habits you have picked up from ex’s

The last video you watched (provide link)

The most dangerous adventure you have been on

Your favorite cookie and a memory attached to it

One Truth and One Lie about…


This is a summary of the study A Pragmatics Framework for Design Fiction by Joseph Lindley.

[Design Fiction is the] Deliberate use of diegetic prototypes to suspend disbelief about change (Sterling, 2012)

Design Fiction is a new methodology that is rapidly taking over design academia (though perhaps a bit behind IRL design). The concept is pretty simple: make prototypes of things that do not exist and ponder over them. However, as professionals, we should never be so frivolous with our methodologies. …


In a recent design exercise, where our team played Dungeons & Dragons for the first time (btw, awesome!), we set to to create a journey map where our Emotion Map anchored all of the other components. While it ended up looking pretty snappy, I realized that Emotion Maps are actually a pretty terrible tool.

Freaking Out

There are two major issues: Emotion Maps need a single axis that simplify emotions and it assumes that we can measure these emotions at least somewhat objectively. Unfortunately, both of these issues are difficult to solve.


Know when you just begin a hike and you spend twenty minutes just trying to find where the trail begins? This post is kind of like that. Hello world.

Our apologies, dear reader, this is a poor example of what to expect. Should you return, this article would be buried amongst the most cutting edge insights and damning critiques of the Experience Design industry; from summaries on curated academic articles to future fictions of what may come. Bathe in intellectual rigor and sun in creative curiosity. …

Austin Beer

UXer and particular about orange juice. IxD @HUGE, @HyperIsland Cult, focusing on Bot UX design, mildly allergic to sour candy.

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