There is an absolute truth about AI and that is artificial is always a pale comparison to the real thing especially when intelligence is involved. If you’ve noticed in increase in attention from the SEO down the hall, it is because Google has determined that UX is the most SEO-proof ranking influence for search results.
If you’re Stephen Hawkings (or Elon Musk and others), you believe that artificial intelligence brings with it doom and destruction. IF you’re Forbes magazine AI will merely redefine the enterprise. Most important, if you’re Google, you see its AI product RankBrain as the culmination of a goal to deliver the right information to the right people from the entire corpus of online information whether on sites, devices or structured depositories for the best experience.
However, this is not the experience that we design for. It is UX that is calculated, not observed. It is predicted based on past behavior rather than informed by human understanding. It is determined by machine intelligence rather than guided by collaborative design thinking. Information Architects have always recognized the essential role of the user. To be successful, IA must work for people. But as artificial intelligence and machine learning increase in power and prevalence, how can we ensure that technology serves human needs, and not the other way around?
About the speakers
Marianne Sweeny considers herself a Search Information Architect, that would be an IA with deep experience in information retrieval systems, user experience, search engine optimization (SEO) and content strategy. Marianne first started advocating the relationship between information architecture, user experience and search engines at the 2007 IA Summit. Google made her seeming heresy dogma with its Panda algorithm, their first step towards a user experience model of relevance ranking. Algorithms to deconstruct text to construct meaning followed. Now we occupy a world of intelligent assistants that independently learn from past behavior, information structures, user engagement and semantic connections to predict current needs.
Marianne is president of the Information Architecture Institute. In 2017, she was co-chair of the 2017 IA Summit with a focus on making IA, UX and content professionals aware of their influence over the development and performance of artificially intelligent systems. She is passionate about dissolving the silos between information architecture, content strategy and Web development to create a more unified approach to solving user needs for an optimal user experience.
See more at Daedalus Information System http://www.daedalusia.com
Bram Wessel (He/Him) is an information architect, husband, and father. His experiences as a parent of a gender-transitioning, neuro-atypical child have reinforced his strong conviction that as we plunge headlong into the unplanned remaking of our society through the digitization of experience, we must vigilantly preserve that which makes us human. Bram has advocated for human needs and goals in his IA and UX work for a diverse array of organizations as co-founder of Factor, an information architecture and human experience consultancy.
Bram co-produced Interaction ‘19, the Interaction Design Association (IxDA) conference which was held in Seattle in February 2019. In addition to Interaction 19, Bram has spoken at or helped organize conferences such as Interaction 18, World IA Day, UX Week, ConveyUX, Seattle Interactive Conference, Taxonomy Bootcamp, Enterprise Search & Discovery, InfoCamp Seattle, and Seattle Design Festival. Bram assists with the planning of the IAC’s Academics and Practitioners Roundtable. He also takes pride in Factor’s six years sponsorship of World IA Day Seattle, support of the IAC’s scholarship program, and support of various regional UX and IA community meetups and workshops.
Bram is committed to educating the next generation of practitioners as an instructor of Information Architecture at the School of Visual Concepts, and as a guest lecturer at the University of Washington’s MCDM and MLIS programs. Bram is also a past board member of InfoCamp Seattle, the Information Architecture Institute and IxDA Seattle.
In his spare time, Bram enjoys fly-fishing, shellfish farming, and listening to his son Deck’s punk band practice.