Stefan Berres, Katharina Franz, Timea Illes-Seifert, and Galia Weidl
Citizen participation is promoted by using design thinking as enabling methodology, where digitalisation to automatise the process is supported by artificial intelligence. Here, citizen participation is focused on current and emerging urban planning projects in small cities, i.e. a city with a population of around 100,000 citizens. Design thinking is used to promote the engagement of different stakeholders with a user-centred ideation and prototyping procedure. Digitalisation is a means to improve attendance within the given restricted capacities of public services, and artificial intelligence contributes by supporting digitalised processes.
The tension between civic engagement and technological facilitation can be expressed as a polarity of “digital” and “analogous.” The digitalised process can be personified and metaphorically described by a smart “Future Assistant.” Though artificial intelligence might be performing some sort of intelligence, it will ever remain designed and artificial, building on algorithms and programs that, on a machine level, need to be expressed as a binary code.
This workshop addresses the tension between artificial intelligence and ethics within the described context of digitalised citizen participation and design thinking approaches; it uses topics and methods of “citizen participation” and “design thinking,” generating an agile alternation between expositions, breakouts and plenaries, opening up a space to reflect on a central question: How can ethics, diversity and participative values be embedded into an artificial intelligence system?
KEYWORDS: design thinking, citizen participation, artificial intelligence