The “humane in the loop”: inclusive research design and policy approaches to foster capacity building assistive technologies in the COVID-19 era

John Bricout, Julienne Greer, Noelle Fields, Ling Xu, Priscila Tamplain, Kris Doelling, Bonita Sharma

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The COVID-19 pandemic is emerging as a driver of greater reliance on wireless technologies, including intelligent assistive technologies, such as robots and artificial intelligence. We must integrate the humane “into the loop” of human-AT interactions to realize the full potential of wireless inclusion for people with disabilities and older adults. Embedding ethics into these new technologies is critical and requires a co-design approach, with end users participating throughout. Developing humane AT begins with a participatory, user-centered design embedded in an iterative co-creation process, and guided by an ethos prioritizing beneficence, user autonomy and agency. To gain insight into plausible AT development pathways (“futures”), we use scenario planning as a tool to articulate themes in the research literature. Four plausible scenarios are developed and compared to identify one as a desired “humane” future for AT development. Policy and practice recommendations derived from this scenario, and their implications for the role of AT in the advancement of human potential are explored.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalAssistive Technology
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 RESNA.

Keywords

  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Disability
  • Ethics
  • Inclusive Design
  • Intelligent Assistive Technologies

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