‘Anatomy of an AI System,’ an infographic map and research project by Kate Crawford and Vladan Joler, has been named the overall winner of the 2019 Beazley Design of the Year. The project explores the social and environmental impact of owning a voice assistant device – including the amount of human labour, data and resources that are required during the lifespan of just one device.
Taking the Amazon Echo as an example, the project includes a visual diagram illustrating the global impact of an AI device across its lifetime. It investigates the three main parts required to build and operate a voice assistant – from the environmental effects of extracting rare earth metals and the wide disparity in workers’ income, to the data that these devices can gather without the users’ knowledge.
Some of the key information highlighted by designers includes the disparity in wages between a CEO from the industry, earning up to $275 million US dollars a day to a child miner, who would need to work approximately 700,000 years to earn the same amount. The project questions whether the convenience provided by these devices is worth their social and environmental consequences.
Other winners include MUJI and Sensible 4’s ‘self-driving’ bus for all weather conditions, Korean-influenced sportswear by Jin Won Choi in collaboration with Adidas and CATCH, a low cost HIV detector. MySleeve, an add-on to make crutches more comfortable, received the ‘People’s Choice’ award.
Name: adidas Originals by Ji Won Choi
Designers: Ji Won Choi in collaboration with adidas
Name: Maya Somaiya Library
Designers: Sameep Padora and Associates
Name: Anatomy of an AI System
Designers: Kate Crawford of AI Now Institute and Vladan Joler
Name: Amorepacific architectural branding
Designers: Sascha Lobe at Pentagram with L2M3
Name: CATCH: The HIV Detector
Designers: Hans Ramzan
Name: GACHA Self-driving Shuttle Bus
Designers: MUJI and Sensible 4
Designers: Marie Van den Broeck
The six category winners along with the 70 other nominations are on display at the Design Museum through February 9, 2020.
Photos: Courtesy of Design Museum