Machine learning has taken over vast parts of our world, from diagnosing medical conditions to legal queries to beating human players in Go. In this Sunday Rewind, we look back to 2017, when Josh Clark, Founder and Principal of Big Medium, shared how these advancements impact how we design, build, and manage products.
Embracing uncertainty and collaboration
How do we design products in the world of algorithms? Josh explains that transparency and collaboration between humans and machines are where the work really happens. Algorithms are still at the stage where they can be inconsistent—this is where human input is needed to improve and solidify results. “Machines make mistakes, we’re not going to get rid of them,” he says.
Machines only know what we tell them
Josh goes on to explain that machine learning was created to decide what’s normal, and point out when things are going to deviate from it. The problem is that they learn from the existing situation, which is often far from perfect, he says. It’s important for us in product and UX design to ensure that we are feeding the correct unbias information to machines to ensure that people aren’t persecuted based on their societal norms and history.
Responsible data collection
Data input is actually UX research at an unprecedented scale, Josh says. Diverse teams are needed to provide a range of opinions and inputs. This will allow products and machines to understand the range of perspectives.
We need to see how else we can get our users to help us improve their experiences. However, it has to be done transparently so that everyone understands and agrees on how that data is being used.
Be Loyal to Users
Finally, Josh says to be loyal to your customers. As product managers and designers, we create products to impact people’s lives. Therefore, we have an important role to play in applying human decency to product decisions.
Access more insights on product design in the era of algorithms by watching this engaging talk in full!