Elicitation and Empathy with AI-enhanced Adaptive Assistive Technologies (AATs)

How to Cite

McDonald, N., Massey, A., & Hamidi, F. (2023). Elicitation and Empathy with AI-enhanced Adaptive Assistive Technologies (AATs): Towards Sustainable Inclusive Design Method Education . Journal of Problem Based Learning in Higher Education, 11(2), 78–99. https://doi.org/10.54337/ojs.jpblhe.v11i2.7667


Efforts to include people with disabilities in design education are difficult to scale, and dynamics of participation need to be carefully planned to avoid putting unnecessary burdens on users. However, given the scale of emerging AI-enhanced technologies and their potential for creating new vulnerabilities for marginalized populations, new methods for generating empathy and self-reflection in technology design students (as the future creators of such technologies) are needed. We report on a study with Information Systems graduate students where they used a participatory elicitation toolkit to reflect on two cases of end-user privacy perspectives towards AI-enhanced tools in the age of surveillance capitalism: their own when using tools to support learning, and those of older adults using AI-enhanced adaptive assistive technologies (AATs) that help with pointing and typing difficulties. In drawing on the experiences of students with intersectional identities, our exploratory study aimed to incorporate intersectional thinking in privacy elicitation and further understand its role in enabling sustainable, inclusive design practice and education. While aware of the risks to their own privacy and the role of identity and power in shaping experiences of bias, students who used the toolkit were more sanguine about risks faced by AAT users—assuming more data equates to better technology. Our tool proved valuable for eliciting reflection but not empathy.



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