In fall 2020, I was invited to teach a small course on Design Thinking for AI as part of the Business Innovation program that I myself graduated from. The 3rd-year BA students were well acquainted with the design thinking methodology and had little to no knowledge of AI (beyond the headlines) or other design disciplines such as UX or interaction design.

Having a total of 5 classes of 3 hours together, my learning objectives were for the students to walk away from the course:

  • Having a basic understanding of what Artificial Intelligence (AI)/Machine Learning (ML) is
  • Knowing current common capabilities and how to spot and validate their potential for innovation
  • Becoming aware of UX considerations for AI/ML-driven products
  • Reflecting on the potential positive and negative impact of widespread AI/ML on society

I decided early to invite guest speakers for short lectures to make sure the students had more diverse perspectives to learn from. To make room for personalization within the program, I invited students to pick an industry/topic/SDG/challenge that they were personally interested in and would develop a use case for throughout the course.

I wrote a Medium article sharing detailed outlines of every session as well as the homework in between which you can read here.

Some words from the students:

“For every topic discussed we would explore possible scenarios, discovering risks and opportunities on many different levels. For all non-techies, completing this course can serve as a useful step into new professional adventures.”

— Georgia Spanou, innovation student

“It helped me discover how I can personally take part in the design of AI and that you don’t have to be a coding genius in order to contribute.”

— Lara Tremio, innovation student

“The course was very informative and well designed. I felt like I was learning a lot about a difficult topic in the most understandable and fun way possible. I very much enjoyed the course and would recommend it to anyone with a desire for a better foundational understanding of AI. It was advanced enough for serious discussion of relevant topics, while not being too advanced for people with limited background knowledge.”

— Yannick Ciocanel, innovation student