Putting human thought behind chatbots

Business anthropologist Martha Bird’s specialty is designing technologies that work for people, creating conversational user interfaces and chatbots that can serve different professional audiences across different geographies and different cultures.

An interview excerpt:

Why are people’s relationships with technology so important?
Any technology development and deployment happening today not informed by systems-level thinking is going to create issues upstream. What do I mean by this? I mean that in order to solve for the challenges of any particular step in a process, you need to have an understanding of the entire ecosystem in which that process lives. You need an understanding of the technical infrastructure, compliance particularities, company culture, geographic and cultural considerations, etc.
Short of understanding how each informs and influences the other, you will end up deploying systems that are brittle and linear, poorly integrated as well as poorly aligned to both the practices and the people, and ultimately, the place where they are implemented.