Interacting with AI: X instead of Y


Ken Arnold


March 28, 2024

AI is typically designed in ways that push people aside, but what if we could reimagine the relationship?


The way that AI is currently used supports a view of writing as primarily about generating content. Instead, imagine AI tools guiding you through a document, offering feedback, and executing changes based on your specific instructions. This would empower writers rather than supplanting them.

Making Decisions

Sometimes AI systems are designed to make autonomous decisions about people, sometimes presented to people to endorse (verify). But AI could instead work in a collaborative mode, where it highlights aspects of the situation that people might not be considering, offers relevant precedents from historical data, and facilitates a more thoughtful and informed deliberation process without dictating the outcome.

Learning and Teaching

Instead of directly teaching people, replacing instructors or tutors, AI could be employed to serve instructors by helping them better understand what students are struggling with or excelling in, providing direction and feedback on educational materials, enabling new ways to differentiate instruction to meet diverse learners’ needs, and providing qualitative feedback on teaching methods.


AI could transform governance by bringing the voices of diverse constituents into the decision-making process, even at points (like private committee meetings) where the individual people who might be affected by the decisions being made might normally be able to be present.

Other design considerations: