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Unique Ways of Prototyping for AI


Design Digital & new media Interdisciplinary Writing & literature
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Date and time

This activity runs the duration of Culture Days.


Vancouver, BC



Offered in English.



This workshop is built around a method called role play, which uses voice and writing to make, test, and iterate an idea. Participants are first paired up and assigned roles. One person represents a user, and one person represents a product or service that will be interrogated by that user. As a jumping off point, we might say that the product or service is a voice user interface like Siri. Once the roles are assigned to the pairs, they have a conversation based on their roles; in this case, a conversation between Siri, and a person using Siri. This often happens for a timed interval of ten minutes. After the ten minutes is up, the second half of the workshop begins. In the same pairs, the same conversation happens except this time, we focus on variations of the product or service. The workshop concludes with a takeaway idea. Next time, try this process instead of in pairs, in a group of three, where the third person is a note taker who just listens to the interactive conversation between the pair and turns it into writing. In addition to voice user interfaces, this can easily be adapted to interrogate the relationship between users and mobile devices, or within more pioneering technologies like VR and AR.



Thomas K Girard

Thomas Girard (born 30 December, 1980 in Vancouver, Canada) is a Canadian scholar. Girard was accepted to attend University of Oxford in lectures equivalent to graduate coursework. Girard has received several Emerging Scholar awards, first at the Design Principles and Practices conference in Barcelona, Spain at the prestigious ELISAVA. At Emily Carr University of Art and Design he received his second Emerging Scholar award. Other awards include RBC Emerging Scholar, Royal Bank of Canada Foundation. For 2021, he has been awarded an Emerging Scholar award from the New Directions in the Humanities conference in Madrid, Spain.


Thomas Girard