Artificial Intelligence

Design your Death: A Portable R&D Demo Evening

 

It’s not often that you get to see what goes on behind the closed doors of a design consultancy. But Portable is no ordinary design consultancy. For a start they are based in Collingwood, which automatically gives them a gold star – my old neighbourhood was a just a hop, skip and a jump across Hoddle St.
Secondly, I’ve heard them say that in their early days they aspired to be a kind of Australian IDEO — and doesn’t everyone love IDEO.

I’ve been to a few of their breakfast and evening talks and they are always (a) fantastic, (b) completely packed – standing room only. I first heard about Portable through fellow RHoK buddy and adopted design mentor Zen Tim. He’s possibly the most chilled out and thoughtful person I know. The first time I visited Portable was back in May 2018. Jason Hendry (Partner & Creative Technologist) gave an excellent talk about how they are using a human-centred design approach to building machine learning tools. More recently I heard Joe Sciglitano (Design Lead) talk about empathy in design and what to do with it. Both talks have been brilliant, and since then I’ve been reading through all their design reports. You can check them out here.

 
We don’t just do design. We start conversations with like-minded and diverse groups of people, whether they have a shared interest in design, technology or inspiring social good. 
— Portable, Collingwood.
  At Death’s door

At Death’s door


Needless to say I knew that their R&D Demo Evening would likely be a pretty special event. I wasn’t disappointed.

I had a great time chatting to Portable and non-Portable folks about all things death and ageing and cancer. I also managed to pick a few Portable brains about tech for social good and the value of working at the intersection of data science and design research – thanks for indulging me Tam Ho.

We were invited to test out and provide feedback on the four prototypes they’ve been developing over the past year. It was a such a privilege to talk to their designers about their though processes, what they define as a success, and to hear more about their plans moving forward. Sarah Kaur (Partner & Chief Operations Officer) then launched their most recent report: The Future of Death & Ageing – 81 pages and 17MB of design goodness.

The highlight of the night was catching up with the lovely Martina Clark, founder of Carers Couch (@carerscouch) – I have no doubt her app will be an amazingly good resource for cancer carers. I also meet Sally Coldham, founder of Airloom (@AirloomSocial) and a She Starts alum, who is also doing amazing work in this space.

A fantastic night talking about all things data and design.


In case you missed it…

Empathy. Everyone's talking about it. But who's actually doing it? And what do you do with it once you've felt it? Our Human Centered Design specialist Joe takes us on a journey to discover the what, how and why of empathy, and how it's transformed his design practice. Hear all about how feeling stuff can help you win arguments, how to innovate by implementing the radical practice of listening to other people, and how an empathetic approach will not only help you understand your customers, but give you and your team the natural drive to solve some of the trickiest problems they face. With plenty of storytelling, animated GIFs and pop culture references along the way, you'll laugh, you'll cry, but that's kinda the point, ya feel me?


Worth watching this one too…

To initiate the re-boot of Portable Talks, we look at how a human centred design approach can be used to build AI and machine learning tools. Our Tech Lead and AI enthusiast Jason Hendry will cover the basic principles of machine learning and show you how anyone with a computer can begin the process of creating a basic machine learning model.

How AI can save our humanity

A wonderful talk by renowned computer scientist Kai-Fu Lee (@kaifulee).

AI is massively transforming our world, but there's one thing it cannot do: love. In a visionary talk, computer scientist Kai-Fu Lee details how the US and China are driving a deep learning revolution -- and shares a blueprint for how humans can thrive in the age of AI by harnessing compassion and creativity.

An evening with Mike Butcher from Tech Crunch

 

Mike Butcher MBE, is Editor-at-large of TechCrunch, the biggest breaking news site about the world’s hottest tech companies. Mike has been named one of the most influential people in technology, and is a regular commentator on the tech business. He founded the Europas Conference & Awards, the charity Techfugees, and has been an advisor on startups to the British Prime Minister and the Mayor of London. He was awarded an MBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list 2016 for services to the UK technology industry and journalism.

We had the privilege of spending an evening Mike, and hearing him speak about Artificial Intelligence and the future of technology.
Needless to say it was quite enlightening…

Deep Learning with Microsoft Azure

 

Discussing Ethics & Empathy in AI

Responsible AI

The development of machine learning and artificial intelligence is already having a profound impact on people's lives. With great power comes great responsibility; How do we ensure that the products and services created are fair and inclusive? How do we ensure privacy and security? How do we share tools and resources? How do we share knowledge?

There is a growing movement towards ethical tech and responsible AI practises, with many companies and organisations becoming more transparent about how their products and services are built. I'll be writing more about this at a later date, but in the meantime here are just few;

 

How AI is Helping Control Malaria

 

Another great article from IBM's Think Blog

Now this is my kind of AI research...

A collaboration between IBM Research – Africa and the University of Oxford. By combining the OpenMalaria simulation model and machine intelligence they explore “what if” scenarios in the hope of  learning new, more effective policies for the control of malaria.

"..we have only just started to scratch the surface of possibilities of how AI may be used to tackle such grand challenges"