product designer


09.10.2017- Intro

Today marks the beginning of my four week journey to becoming a Creative Technologist. I have been tasked with the challenge of producing a short film that contains research objects to tell a story about the future of a voice enabled internet.

To help me overcome this challenge, I aim to:

  1. Critically build narratives around current issues and trends relating to social issues of technology
  2. Apply a range of specialised techniques and practices to build a technical prototype that can be used as a tool to gain insights into social experiences
  3. Develop a critical understanding of how a technical protoype can be designed to a proffessional standard and made robust enough for testing with people
  4. Demonstrate an ability to build models and other related props to assist the narrative creation about and with technologies, drawing upon specialised research methods such as experience protoyping, user scenarios and storyboarding 
  5. Critically reflect on your ability to combine technical knowledge with product design know-how over a significant area of study

I will be using this blog to share my journey by documenting my daily activities and providing a weekly summary that gives an in-depth reflection of my research. 

Today was spent in the studio with our lecturers- Jon and Lorraine. To get us started, they shared a project Our Friends Electric they worked on with Martin Skelly from Mozilla's Open IoT Studio and the University of Dundee. The  short film by Superflux explores voice-enabled AI assistants who ask too many questions, swear and recite Marxist texts.


We then broke off into three groups and each chose one of the objects to discuss, analyse and present our findings with the class. Here is what we had to say about Eddi, Karma and Sig.

  Eddi- Growing with you

Eddi- Growing with you

  • A personal assistant/ friend that thinks for you and to some degree is an extension of you
  • It's a growing database that asks questions, learns and processes your information
  • It analyses your behaviour/ habits
  • Digital Friend/ companion by assisting you
  • Your information could be collected by 3rd parties- perhaps unknowingly 
  Karma- Your voice as you want it

Karma- Your voice as you want it

  • It projects a version of yourself depending on the situation
  • It acts on your behalf in situations that you may find uncomfortable 
  • Lets you get on with everyday chores instead of waiting on hold
  • It knows the line between being angry and confident as opposed to abusive 
  • Companionship in something that will become obsolete
  Sig- Your programmable companion

Sig- Your programmable companion

  • It learns organically- a bit like raising a child
  • It's very political- voices opinions/ beliefs
  • Can be used to to spread propaganda 
  • Highlights/ warns you that everything comes down to sales

After a studio discussion on these objects, we then took to a wall space and began recording our initial thoughts on possible directions and areas of interest. 


I began with two very vague, rough themes for my project- Emotion & AI and Children & AI.

I spent the afternoon exploring how Artificial Intelligence can be used in the education sector to help break language barriers within schools.

Here are a few of my initial thoughts at this stage:

  • A companion/ assistant alternative to the buddying system currently used in schools
  • A system that gives teachers an understanding about their pupil's learning experience/ progress
  • An educational tool using AI to teach languages in real life scenarios 


Rebecca Williamson