Imagining alternate realities that could happen when Humans are "plussed" by AI.

The Humans+ Project challenges students to collaborate to envision a future in which AI agents augment people’s abilities. This is a group project where students form their groups. Per the course’s Specifications Grading format, only students working toward an A grade had to do this project. Here’s the assignment sheet from Canvas.

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Project What could humans become when AI technologies are integrated into almost everything?

Envisioning Humans+AI Futures

Already, AI is an increasingly dominant part of daily life. More people are using these technologies than ever before, and they are advancing at an unprecedented rate. AI agents stand to help humans complete activities in every part of our society. What will humans become as these technologies become further embedded in products, services, and systems? What will humans do with the time they save? How will humans explore and discover in ways we never could before? Will we be part of a future where humans can be better and more involved in the things that only people can do? How can AI technologies assist humans in making a better world? Could it be that AI technologies will invite the dawn of humans being their very best?

In this project, we will act as techno-optimists, exploring ways Humans+AI technologies can create better futures, and we’ll envision what humanity may become when “plussed.”

What’s Due?

What Format Where Who
One Humans+ Poster Miro Humans+ S24 Miro Board. Post a comment to this Canvas assignment page to complete the turn-in. Anyone, especially students attempting an A for the semester.

Why Are We Doing This?

Your ability to envision drastically different futures in which AI technologies directly assist humans will build your imagination muscles and enhance your ability to anticipate intended and unintended consequences when AI technologies are integrated into human activities.

Specifications

Project Work

This activity counts as a Project Work assignment. Work it.

Learning Outcomes

Strive to produce work that is Successful for each learning outcome.

  • Align AI Outcomes With Stakeholder Needs: Use generative AI tools to create outcomes that match stakeholder needs.
  • Anticipate AI Consequences: Analyze AI’s intended and unintended consequences at varying scopes.
  • Create Detailed AI Outcomes: Create outcomes with generative AI tools with a high degree of formal and functional detail.
  • Identify Assumptions in Wicked Problems: Identify assumptions that underlie wicked problems.
  • Use AI Ethically: Demonstrate ethical use of generative AI tools.

This assignment will be complete and count toward your final grade if the work accomplishes all learning outcomes. There is no partial credit.

Parameters

This is a group project. Students can select their groups within the following topics:

Communication
Education
Healthcare
Business
Imagination
Transportation
Environment
Energy
Government

Each group will select a topic area and determine a problem or opportunity to “solve” within it. After completing a design process from problem definition to solution development and testing, groups will create a poster in Miro to report their work.

Use the Humans+ Process Starter and the Humans+ Poster Content Starter in this project’s Miro Board. The starters contain all the requirements. 

Here’s a brief overview of what’s on the Miro Board. 

Humans+ Process

Follow this process as a group.

Opportunity Selection and Definition

Choose a topic for the project and research its parts.

  1. Select a current event from the Associated Press website to inform your work within your group’s topic area.
  2. Define an opportunity inspired by the current event. This problem/opportunity will be the heart of the project. All work will be dedicated to solving the problem or creating products, services, or systems that enhance opportunities for those affected. Use generative AI to assist with ideation and reframing your ideas.
  3. Research the opportunity’s context, background, people, design, and other aspects. Work at the systems level. Identify AIs’ and peoples’ roles and how they relate to the opportunity. During this step, learn all you can about the opportunity, so you have building blocks to work with when designing solutions. Use generative AI to assist your research process.
  4. Define the subject areas related to the opportunity. Include your team members’ areas of study in this list.

Analyze the Opportunity and Decide on a Direction

Break the topic down into parts using various techniques supported by generative AI.

  1. Use various analysis techniques to dissect the problem/opportunity. For example, Soft Systems Methodology, Wicked Problems, Disruptive Hypotheses, Causal Layered Analysis, SWOT Analysis, NoSCoW Prioritization, and Cynefin Framework.
  2. Decide on an opportunity/need/problem to use for the project.

Create Futures

Create products, services, and systems integrating AI technologies to make two possible futures possible that “solve” the problem or enhance the opportunity.

  1. Complete a process for creating at least four solution directions for the opportunity: impossible, improbable, possible, and probable. For each, identify intended and unintended consequences. Use generative AI to ideate.
  2. Select two solution directions. Create two alternate realities that result from these selections.
    1. Create products, services, and/or systems for each alternate reality. Use generative AI to create prototypes.
    2. Test and analyze these products, services, and systems using Generative AI.

Humans+ Poster Report

Create a poster in Miro that reports the project. Follow these parameters for the poster.

Poster Creation Guidance

  • Audience: Someone who knows nothing about your topic.
  • Writing: You may use benAI to write this content, but cite where it was generated.
  • Media: Sounds, videos, animations, and other media are allowed. You must have permission to use every media item you use. Include a small credit with each media item.
  • Images: Use only photos you take, ‍public domain, royalty-free, permission-granted, or AI-generated images. You must have permission to use every image you use. Include a small credit with each image.

Content Requirements

  • Title: Name the project. Something interesting!
  • Description Tagline: A one-sentence teaser description.
  • Team: The names of your team members.

Overview of the Problem or Opportunity

Include visuals (images, illustrations, charts, video, etc.) and writing. Use paragraphs and bullet points to make the information easy to read for viewers who are new to the topic.

For the overview:

  • Subhead: A title for the section
  • Description Tagline: A one-sentence teaser description
  • The Problem or Opportunity: The issue where Humans+AI will be implemented
  • Need for the Future: What your team proposes “needs to happen” to improve the future
  • Process: Key elements of your process that tell how you innovated with AI

The Problem or Opportunity (no more than 500 words, at least three images)
What is the event/problem/opportunity? Describe it so other students can understand its parts. Where does it take place? What subject areas does it impact, and how? Discuss how the problem/opportunity is important and meaningful. Share who it affects, for good or bad. Share how AI is currently used or misused here.

Need for the Future (no more than 200 words, at least one image)
What is a preferable future? What should happen? What negatives should be reduced, and what positives should be enhanced? Why should we care about this need and these improvements?

Process (no more than 300 words, at least one image)
Share how you used AI to do this work. Share details about the analysis process, such as your disruptive hypotheses or SWOT. Show off how you created two alternate realities where Humans are better because they were plussed with AI.

Two possible alternate realities (futures).

Include visuals (images, illustrations, charts, video, etc.) and writing. Use paragraphs and bullet points to make the information easy to read for viewers who are new to the topic.

For each reality:

  • Subhead: A title for the reality
  • Description Tagline: A one-sentence teaser description
  • AI Agent Details: Its role, what it will do
  • Human+ Details: Their role, what they will do
  • Product Prototype: A product, service, or system that Humans+AI will produce
  • Broader Impact: Ripple effects that result from use

AI Agent Specifics (no more than 300 words, at least one image)
How will the AI be used? What will it produce? What are the intended consequences of this use? What are the unintended consequences? Who and what does its use impact most? How will it save time/resources? What advances will come from its use?

Human+ Specifics (no more than 300 words, at least one image)
What will people do now that AI is in place? What are peoples’ roles in this interaction? How will people limit the potential harm of this use? What will people gain from this use? What will people be able to do with the advances made by AI?

Product Prototype (no more than 300 words, at least three images)
Create images, audio, sound, drawings, source code, etc., that represent the product, service, or system that Humans+AI will create. For services, show a sequence of images, storyboards, or other outcomes that show how it will function.

Broader Impact (no more than 300 words, at least one image)
How will this new Humans+ reality affect other subject areas, industries, art forms, relationships, leisure, countries, the environment, etc? Think social, technological, environmental, economic, and political shifts.

Combine your group members’ expertise areas and imagine big! This is your opportunity to envision the future and learn skills for anticipating possible realities.

For Miro Board work: Post a comment in this Canvas assignment that the work is ready and turned in on time. Thanks! πŸ‘Œ

Execution Level

Shoot for completing this work at or beyond the level indicated below.

a written work

Review Copy: This document contains all relevant content to assert its claims so that initiated readers can understand its intent. The content is thorough enough for a reviewer to assess its claims’ validity and what revisions to make next.

Details about execution levels are in the Course Reference module.

Feedback and Revisions

Feedback

Work can receive one of the following feedback results per learning outcome (specification):

  • Success: You’re done! The work meets or exceeds the specifications. Wow, you learned a lot. πŸ™Œ
  • Not done yet: Close, but needs revision. The work doesn’t quite meet the goal for this assignment. Give it another go. πŸ’ͺ
  • Incomplete: Hmm. Something’s missing. Check the specifications to find what was missed. 🀏

Work that meets all the specifications listed on this assignment page will count toward semester completions for the grade track you’re pursuing.

Revisions

You can revise the work unlimited times to achieve a “Successful” result. Revisions are due by the Final Revision Date around week 13 or 14 of the semester. Check Canvas for the exact date. Keep going! You can do this.

Tokens

You can spend a token to turn this work in late with no penalty. Enter your request to spend a token in the Comments text field in the Canvas assignment anytime, even after the due date. This assignment and all revisions are still due before the Final Revision Deadline. All group members must use a token for group projects.

Earn an Experience Booster

Experience Booster

An Experience Booster can be added to this assignment. Adventure is out there!

You can complete an Experience Booster assignment by plussing this assignment—doing the assignment in a way you have never tried before. Before starting your work, consider how it can help you experience new things.

  • People: How can you engage with diverse and unique people groups during this assignment?
  • Activities: What new activities can you try because of this assignment?
  • Places: What new places (real or virtual) will this assignment take you?

When the assignment starts, complete an Experience Booster Plan to get feedback on whether the project could earn an Experience Booster completion. Once the assignment is done, share what you did and earn an Experience Booster.

Each team member will complete an experience booster plan.

Complete the Experience Booster Plan: Experience Booster: Project: Humans+

Process

  1. Complete the steps listed above.
  2. Turn work in as indicated on this page.
  3. Miro Board Work: Post a comment to this Canvas assignment page that your work was turned in.
  4. Check feedback in Canvas and directly in other documents (if we used Miro, Google Docs, Figma, etc.).
  5. Make revisions if needed.
  6. Post a comment to this Canvas assignment page that your revision is ready for review so I will know it’s ready.
  7. Learn, grow, and be amazing—because you are, no matter how you feel today.

Technology and Materials

  • Internet access
“We can’t solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.”
Albert Einstein

Miro Poster Instructions

I posted the following instructions on our Miro whiteboard to guide poster creation.

Guidance

  • Audience: Someone who knows nothing about your topic.
  • Writing: You may use GenAI to write this content, but cite where it was generated.
  • Media: Sounds, videos, animations, and other media are allowed. You must have permission to use every media item you use. Include a small credit with each media item.
  • Images: Use only photos you take, ‍public domain, royalty-free, permission-granted, or AI-generated images. You must have permission to use every image you use. Include a small credit with each image.

Content Requirements

  • Title: Name the project. Something interesting and inspiring!
  • Description Tagline: A one-sentence teaser description that intrigues readers.
  • Team: The names of your team members.

Overview of the Problem or Opportunity

Include visuals (images, illustrations, charts, video, etc.) and writing. Use paragraphs and bullet points to make the information easy to read for viewers who are new to the topic.

For the overview:

  • Subhead: A title for the section
  • Description Tagline: A one-sentence teaser description
  • The Problem or Opportunity: The issue where Humans+AI will be implemented
  • Need for the Future: What you propose “needs to happen” to improve the future
  • Process: Key elements of your process that tell how you innovated with AI

The Problem or Opportunity (no more than 500 words, at least three images)

What is the event/problem/opportunity? Describe it so other students can understand its parts. Where does it take place? What subject areas does it impact, and how? Discuss how the problem/opportunity is important and meaningful. Share who it affects, for good or bad. Share how AI is currently used or misused here. Why is the problem wicked?

Need for the Future (no more than 200 words, at least one image)

What is a preferable future? What should happen? What negatives should be reduced, and what positives should be enhanced? Why should we care about this need and these improvements?

Process (no more than 300 words, at least one image)

Share how you used AI to do this work. Share details about the analysis process, such as your disruptive hypotheses or SWOT. Show off how you created two alternate realities where Humans are better because they were plussed with AI.

Two possible alternate realities (futures).

Include visuals (images, illustrations, charts, video, etc.) and writing. Use paragraphs and bullet points to make the information easy to read for viewers who are new to the topic.

For each reality:

  • Subhead: A title for the reality
  • Description Tagline: A one-sentence teaser description
  • AI Agent Details: Its role, what it will do
  • Human+ Details: Their role, what they will do
  • Product Prototype: A product, service, or system that Humans+AI will produce
  • Broader Impact: Ripple effects that result from use

AI Agent Specifics (no more than 300 words, at least one image)

How will the AI be used? What will it produce? What are the intended consequences of this use? What are the unintended consequences? Who and what does its use impact most? How will it save time/resources? What advances will come from its use?

Human+ Specifics (no more than 300 words, at least one image)

What will people do now that AI is in place? What are peoples’ roles in this interaction? How will people limit the potential harm of this use? What will people gain from this use? What will people be able to do with the advances made by AI?

Product Prototype (no more than 300 words, at least three images)

Create images, audio, sound, drawings, source code, etc., that represent the product, service, or system that Humans+AI will create. For services, show a sequence of images, storyboards, or other outcomes that show how it will function.

Broader Impact (no more than 300 words, at least one image)

How will this new Humans+ reality affect other subject areas, industries, art forms, relationships, leisure, countries, the environment, etc? Think social, technological, environmental, economic, and political shifts.

Miro Board Resources

Process Board: The process board below guided learners’ thinking and creation. We used it in class discussions, and each student completed a process board.

Download a PDF of the full process starter below.

A few close-ups from the process board (below).

Analysis Methods

Students selected from different analysis tools to examine their selected problem.

  • Soft Systems Methodology
  • Wicked problems
  • Disruptive Hypotheses
  • Causal Layered Analysis
  • SWOT Analysis
  • MoSCoW Prioritization
  • Cynefin Framework

Creating Wide Futures

Learners shared the intended and unintended consequences of four futures: impossible, improbable, possible, and likely. I demonstrated the futures cone in class to assist futures development.

Poster Starter: Students used this poster starter with built-in instructions to create their poster “reports.”

Yes, it’s plain, but that’s the point. Each team applied critical thinking and creativity to share their alternate realies created when humans are “plussed” with AI. Download a PDF of the starter below.

Dennis Cheatham

Associate Professor, Communication Design

Miami University

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