Prepare to Design the Future
March 19–20, 2017: Training
March 20–22, 2017: Tutorials & Conference
San Francisco, CA

Designing for intelligence augmentation: How to design products that use artificial intelligence effectively

Aye Moah (Boomerang)
3:35pm–4:15pm Wednesday, March 22, 2017
Beyond the screen
Location: Georgian
Level: Beginner
Average rating: *****
(5.00, 4 ratings)

Who is this presentation for?

  • UI designers, product managers, product designers, and entrepreneurs

Prerequisite knowledge

  • Familiarity with artificial intelligence concepts (useful but not required)

What you'll learn

  • Understand how humans and AIs working together can achieve better outcomes than either one alone
  • Learn design techniques that keep the user in control and provide a way for humans to interact with AI in ways that still feel intuitive and actionable
  • Discover why the best-performing machine-learning algorithms don’t always make for the best user experience


As artificial intelligence and machine learning gain momentum, we designers are tasked with designing the future—often envisioned as a world where humans are replaced by machines. However, by presuming that the role of AI is to replace humans altogether, we sell ourselves and our creativity short.

Instead, we should be designing and planning for how AI and humans, working together in harmony, can accomplish things that have never been done before. The challenge is in figuring out how to pair human creativity and intuitive judgment with insight and inspiration from machine learning.

As machine learning matures, there are more and more examples of human-machine hybrid solutions outperforming either one on their own. Aye Moah shares lessons learned from the design process behind Boomerang Respondable, the world’s first AI assistant that works with people to help them write better emails.

Topics include:

  • The difference between artificial intelligence and intelligence augmentation
  • How machines and humans can work together better than either of them can work alone
  • How to design interfaces that assist human creativity with machine learning
  • Why optimizing for the best algorithmic performance doesn’t always give you the best user experience
  • How to design AI interfaces that are humble and concede to human overlords
  • How to choose which machine-learning techniques to use
Photo of Aye Moah

Aye Moah


Aye Moah is the cofounder and chief of product of Boomerang, makers of thoughtful productivity software that helps you focus on what matters. Boomerang, the most popular extension for Gmail and Outlook, enables millions of people to email more effectively with artificial intelligence. Aye was born and raised in Burma. She holds a BS in computer science from MIT.

Comments on this page are now closed.


03/27/2017 4:56am PDT

Hi Tao,
Yes, I have asked the O’Reilly folks to post the slides. In the mean time, here is the link.

03/27/2017 1:06am PDT

Hi Aye, I really enjoyed your presentation at O’Reilly design conference. Would you mind sharing your deck? There’s a lot of good materials in your presentation that I’d love to take a second look at. Thanks!