Google wants to look beyond the technology aspect of artificial intelligence and study the relationship between the users of the technology. The company announced the People + AI Research initiative (PAIR), which will look into how users interact with AI and the benefits it will provide.

“The past few years have seen rapid advances in machine learning, with dramatic improvements in technical performance—from more accurate speech recognition, to better image search, to improved translations. But we believe AI can go much further—and be more useful to all of us—if we build systems with people in mind at the start of the process,” Google Brain Team’s Martin Wattenberg and Fernanda Viégas wrote in a post.

PAIR research will include: How engineers and researchers build and understand AI systems; how AI can be used to help domain experts; and how to ensure AI is inclusive to everyday users.

As part of the research, Google will also be open sourcing tools for researchers and experts. As of today, the company has open sourced two visualization tools: Facets Overview and Facets Dive. Facets is designed to help engineers understand their data and how to analyze it. With Overview, engineers can get a sense of their datasets, and explore individual observations with Dive.  

“We think this is important because training data is a key ingredient in modern AI systems, but it can often be a source of opacity and confusion. Indeed, one of the ways that ML engineering seems different than traditional software engineering is a stronger need to debug not just code, but data too. With Facets, engineers can more easily debug and understand what they’re building,” the team wrote.

About Christina Cardoza

Christina Cardoza, formerly known as Christina Mulligan, is the Online & Social Media Editor of SD Times. She covers agile, DevOps, AI, machine learning, mixed reality and software security. Follow her on Twitter at @chriscatdoza!