The purpose of this micro-project is to critically reflect on the design of an AI system by investigating the role of the designer. Designers make choices during the design of the system. Analysing these choices and their effective consequences contributes to an overall understanding of the situated knowledge embedded in a system. The reflection is concerned with questions like what does it mean for the output of the system what the designer’s interpretations are? In what way do they then exercise power on this system? In particular, this micro-project will examine a concrete case. It will follow the design of an agent-based social simulation that aims at modelling how inequality affects democracy.


An agent-based simulation on how wealth inequality affects political relations

A conference paper critically reflecting on the design of the simulation


Project Partners:

  • TU Delft, Jonne Maas
  • Umeå University (UMU), Virginia Dignum

Primary Contact: Jonne Maas, Delft University of Technology

Main results of micro project:

The main results will be a conference paper that illustrates how a designer of an AI system influences the final outcome of the system and a model that simulates how inequality affects democratic policy-making.

The micro project is hence a collaboration between a project rooted in philosophical thinking, highlighting the social dimension of design, and the technical design of an agent-based simulation.

Contribution to the objectives of HumaneAI-net WPs

WP5 is concerned with the responsible development of AI systems. This MP analyzes the role of a designer, and by doing so sheds light on what is necessary for responsible AI development. In order to develop responsible AI, it is essential to understand the underlying power dynamics behind an AI's ecosystem. For this, we need to understand how and why a designer has a special role in the development of a system.

Tangible outputs

  • Publication: The Role of a Designer – Jonne Maas
  • Other: Inequality and Democracy – Luis Gustavo Ludescher