Google Research

Identifying the intersections: User experience + research scientist collaboration in a generative machine learning interface

ACM CHI Conference 2019 (2019)

Abstract

Creative generative machine learning interfaces are stronger when multiple actors bearing different points of view actively contribute to them. User experience (UX) research and design involvement in the creation of machine learning (ML) models help ML research scientists to more effectively identify human needs that ML models will fulfill. The People and AI Research (PAIR) group within Google developed a novel program method in which UXers are embedded into an ML research group for three months to provide a human-centered perspective on the creation of ML models. The first full-time cohort of UXers were embedded in a team of ML research scientists focused on deep generative models to assist in music composition. Here, we discuss the structure and goals of the program, challenges we faced during execution, and insights gained as a result of the process. We offer practical suggestions for how to foster communication between UX and ML research teams and recommended UX design processes for building creative generative machine learning interfaces.

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