Spring 2019 Syllabus

A 15-week course where students learn the basics of creating products powered by AI that create new relationships with users

Jennifer Sukis
Jan 31, 2018 · 6 min read
Little reminder about what’s important in life, no matter where AI takes us. Do not let your days in Texas slip past you without exploring the parts technology will never replace.

Tuesdays 6:00–9:00pm in DFA 4.106

Course website at http://canvas.utexas.edu
Office hours: Tuesdays, 5:30–6:00pm in DFA 4.112

Instructor

Jennifer Sukis, Design Principal for AI and Machine Learning, IBM Hybrid Cloud
Jennifer dot sukis at gmail dot com

Catalog Description

Students will learn how to create digital product experiences powered by AI and big data that deliver high levels of cognitive experiences to users.

Course Overview

A mix of lecture, reading, writing and design thinking specific to AI. Students will form teams of five to build a concept for an AI product for the duration of the course, preparing for two final presentations. This class is not a series of sprints. It’s working on one idea for 15 weeks individually and with a team.

  1. Research Report Presentation
  2. Final Presentation

Objectives & Assessment Instruments

By the end of the course, students should be able to:

  1. Clearly, quickly explain what a cognitive AI experience is to a non-tech savvy person
  2. Understand the core components of AI and how they work together to create a cognitive experience
  3. Structure and conduct lightweight user research
  4. Execute an AI focused design thinking process
  5. Demonstrate skills in preparing a product story and demo for pitches

Course materials

  • A Medium account (https://medium.com/)
  • A Mural account (https://mural.co/education/)
  • Presentation software (Google Slides, Keynote, etc.)

Methods of Instruction

  • Lectures and Critical Thinking Discussions
  • Reading + writing assignments
  • Expert guest speakers
  • A LOT of in class working time

Pro Tips

  1. For the duration of this course, play, experiment with, even build relationships with conversational interfaces. Alexa. Siri. Google Home. Online chat bots. In store concierges. AI apps and VR/AR/MR games…I highly recommend keeping a running Medium post or journal of notes on these interactions to inform your own AI experience and prep you for Q&A during the final presentation.
  2. You will work with the same team of 4–5 people throughout this class on your two big assignments. For each of these assignments, a portion of your grade will be determined by your peer evaluations. Be a good teammate.

Attendance

I do not record or include attendance as a part of your grade, but if you don’t attend it will be impossible to receive higher than a C in this class.

Homework

Reading and writing assignments: 10 pts each

Final Projects

Research Report — 100 pts

Your team will have 30 minutes for your presentation, including time for questions from your classmates. Components of your grade:

  • Quality of product strategy feasibility and elevator pitch — 20 pts
  • Design and execution of primary and secondary research plan — 20 pts
  • Relevance of resulting insights and experience principles — 20 pts
  • Overall preparedness of presentation and ability to respond to audience questions — 20 pts
  • Peer Reviews — 20 pts

Final: Product Story and Demo — 100 pts

You’ll be presenting in front of an audience. You have 30 minutes for your presentation, including time for questions from the audience.

Your presentation should be in the style of a pitch, not a book report. Do not do a boring walk thru of what we did in class. Every assignment you’ve completed up to this point is fodder to use in your final presentation. You are not required to include any of those elements verbatim, but they hopefully provide you with what you need to tell and support your concept story.

Focus on what you think the audience needs to know to understand your concept from start to finish. Test it on a few people. Get it so that anyone you show it to understands it. Then you’re probably in good shape.

Grading Criteria

  • Cohesiveness and clarity of storytelling to quickly establish empathy for the problem, who the user you’re focusing on is, key points of your concept/user journey, and product strategy — 20 pts
  • Your concept’s success in using AI Design Thinking to create a new, valuable, user focused solution — 20 pts
  • Your concept’s accuracy in it’s use of AI capabilities — 20 pts
  • Overall preparedness of presentation and ability to respond to audience questions — 20 pts
  • Peer Reviews — 20 pts

Grade Scale

This course uses UT’s existing scale for final letter grades.
https://liberalarts.utexas.edu/ams/undergraduate/grading-scale.php

A = 93–100
A- = 90–92
B+ = 87–89
B = 83–86
B- = 80–82
C+ = 77–79
C = 73–76
C- =70–72
D+ = 67–69
D = 63–66
D- = 60–62
F = 0–59

Class meeting dates, Spring 2018

Jan 29
Class 1:
Introduction to AI
We’ll start with the basics to know about this class, then buckle up, the first lecture is a doozey, but it’s fun with lots of crazy stories, videos, and sci-fi homages! We’ll will cover the history, current state, essential concepts, ethics, challenges, and future visions surrounding Artificial Intelligence.

Example of typical homework assignment:

Listen:
MEX Design Talk 43. Cognitive UX; Jennifer Sukis, Creative Director, IBM Watson

Read:
How Humans and AI Are Working Together in 1,500 Companies

Write:
Write a Medium story describing your own predictions, hopes, fears, and crazy possibilities for the future of AI — 100 years from now.

Feb 5
Class 2: What can AI do + Roles on AI teams

In this class we will take a look at how AI is being used today and what’s coming tomorrow. We’ll also look into the typical roles on an AI Development team, the tools teams use, and the more technical side of how AI applications are built.

  • Lecture
  • Discussion and Q&A
  • Homework

12 Feb
Class 3: Creating a Value Proposition for an AI Product

Learn how to begin ideating a problem to solve with you team as well as how to create a Value Proposition for your product idea.

  • Lecture
  • Discussion and Q&A
  • In Class Work
  • Homework

19 Feb
Class 4: Accessibility and bias in AI

Learn about the complexities and multifaceted layers of designing AI that that takes humanities diversity into consideration.

  • Lecture
  • Discussion and Q&A
  • In Class Work
  • Homework

26 Feb
Class 5:
Intro to Strategic Research

How to plan for and execute your research plan

  • Lecture
  • Discussion and Q&A
  • In Class Work
  • Homework

5 Mar
Class 6:
Research Report Progress Review

Give the class an update on your research plan progress and get feedback for next steps.

  • In Class Work
  • Homework

12 Mar
Class 7: Research Report Final Feedback

Teams will work together on refining their final Research Report, due the following week.

  • In class exercise
  • Homework

[Mar 18–Mar 22: SPRING BREAK]

26 Mar
Class 8:
Research Report Presentations

Each team will present their Project and Research Reports to the class. Team members will submit peer review feedback and scores.

• Homework

2 Apr
Class 9: Kickoff: AI Design Strategy

An introduction to Design Thinking for AI. Get the Final Presentation assignment.

  • Lecture
  • Discussion and Q&A
  • In Class Work
  • Homework

9 Apr
Class 10:
Big ideas + Press Release + User Journey Storyboards

Discuss how to use Press Releases and Storyboards to finalize your user journey. Teams will work together on their Big Ideas and To Be Journey, getting feedback from guest experts.

  • Lecture
  • Discussion and Q&A
  • In Class Work
  • Homework

16 Apr
Class 11:
Prototyping, Test, Repeat — Demoing your user journey

Lecture on the Agile approach to designing a product and various methods for prototyping, testing and revising. Teams will work together on finalizing their User Journey, specifically defining how they’re going to design and build their demo, and getting feedback from guest experts.

  • Lecture
  • Discussion and Q&A
  • In Class Work
  • Homework

23 Apr
Class 12:
Designing your final presentation

Teams will use all of the work they’ve done so far to create a first draft of their final presentation. The majority of the presentation (and focus of class) will be on creating the user journey and storyboards for your AI product experience.

  • In Class Work
  • Homework

30 Apr
Class 13:
Finishing touches

All work, all class. Collaborate with your team. Get feedback on your product journey concept.

  • Finish Final Presentations

7 May
Class 14:
Welcome to the Advanced Design for AI Finals!

Each team has 30 minutes to present and answer questions. You’ll be presenting in front of a panel of AI experts. The top teams will win free entry into Fast Company’s Innovation Awards for 2019.

Advanced Design for Artificial Intelligence

A 15-week course focused on techniques for designing products powered by AI that form new relationships with users. Written by students of the Advanced Design for AI course at the University of Texas in Austin.

Jennifer Sukis

Written by

Design Principal for AI & Machine Learning at IBM. Professor of Advanced Design for AI at the University of Texas. Co-host of AI Zen with Andrew and Jen.

Advanced Design for Artificial Intelligence

A 15-week course focused on techniques for designing products powered by AI that form new relationships with users. Written by students of the Advanced Design for AI course at the University of Texas in Austin.

Welcome to a place where words matter. On Medium, smart voices and original ideas take center stage - with no ads in sight. Watch
Follow all the topics you care about, and we’ll deliver the best stories for you to your homepage and inbox. Explore
Get unlimited access to the best stories on Medium — and support writers while you’re at it. Just $5/month. Upgrade