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Google’s latest initiative will improve products by researching how people interact with AI

The shift from “mobile first to AI first” will require a major rethink of how people use and interact with technology. To ensure that this change benefits all, Google is launching a new initiative called PAIR (People + AI Research).

A part of the Google Brain team, PAIR’s goal is to “study and redesign the ways people interact with AI systems.” This initiative will take into account both developers/researchers and the average end-user.

This company-wide initiative currently has 12 full-time staff and will work with multiple product groups throughout Google, as well as with researchers at Harvard and MIT.

The first part of the project coincides with the launch of two open-source tools that will let developers analyze the data sets that AI uses to learn. One used for Facets Overview and Facets Dive allows researchers to test a facial recognition system.

More open-source tools are coming with Google also working on formulating a set of design principles for AI systems that take into account people’s expectations for artificial intelligence.

In the future, AI systems could be designed to provide an explanation to a doctor or other professional on why such-and-such a recommendations or prediction was given.

This work being done by PAIR will eventually trickle down in the form of refinements to the user interface and experience of apps and other Google services.

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Avatar for Abner Li Abner Li

Editor-in-chief. Interested in the minutiae of Google and Alphabet. Tips/talk: