Workshop at AfriCHI 2023 on Nov 28th from 9am-12.30pm EET


As AI-based applications permeate our everyday lives, their impact on children and their futures requires critically examination. While several global and national policy frameworks on Children and AI are being developed, there is still little discussion with children on the limitations, inherent biases, and lack of diversity in current design and development of AI-based applications. Further, as ethical aspects with regards to AI design and use come to the forefront, AI literacy for children becomes imperative. As part of our projects, we have been exploring approaches towards critical AI literacy for children – from hands-on design and making workshops reimagining the future of schooling, to activities with generative AI. We also conduct workshops with Child-Computer Interaction (CCI) experts, and those interested in CCI, to evaluate and extend our methods repertoire through our researchers’ toolbox for the future workshop series in India, Finland, and Denmark. As a part of this workshop series, we will conduct a workshop at the AfriCHI 2023 conference welcoming conference participants interested critical AI literacy, children and AI, speculative and critical design, and ethical AI.

Please use this form to sign-up for the workshop. 

Workshop objectives

  • To explore future-oriented, critical, and empowering methods and examine how they can be adapted to working together with children, to let children design their own technological future-lives with AI.
  • To explore ethical aspects in AI for children as well as in participatory research and design with children.
  • To scrutinize the utilized tools and methods, enabling participants to consider which ones they can incorporate in their own research work.

Workshop structure

Session #1 (90 mins)

Session #2 (90 mins)

Welcome (10 mins): Introduction to the topic and day’s agenda.

Participant introductions (10 mins): The organizers and participants introduce themselves briefly. An ice-breaker question will be posed to everyone (optional to answer).

Keynotes (60 mins):

  • Design Fiction, Empowerment, and AI (30 mins)
  • Critical AI Literacy – lessons from the field (30 mins)

Session wrap-up (10 mins): Discussion on the workshop topics.

Team activity: (45 mins): Participants are divided into smaller teams of 3-5, where each team tries one activity / approach:

  • Imagine future schools – classrooms, teachers, friends.
  • Play a game on critical design / literacy.
  • Co-create with generative AI

Group discussion (30 mins): Teams present their experiences and moderator lists the pros and cons of each approach.

Workshop wrap-up (15 mins): Participants give feedback, moderators plan next steps and post workshop activities.


Sumita Sharma is a post-doc researcher at the INTERACT research unit at the University of Oulu. Her research work focuses on designing inclusive and collaborative technology for the classroom environment for children across the world, including children living in urban slums, children with special needs, and children in remote communities. She is also interested in understanding the socio-cultural barriers towards empowerment of children. Her current research on participatory AI explores designing ethical frameworks for algorithmic decision-making for and with children.

Edward White is a postdoc researcher in Human-Computer Interaction at Tampere University, Finland. His research focuses on physical and digital boundaries (or lack thereof) between our work and personal lives, the impact of the pandemic on these, and how to create the perfect balance. He is involved in teaching, consulting and the implementation of human computer-interaction, usability, User-Experience (UX) and Computer-supported cooperative work.

Marianne Kinnula is an Associate Professor of human-centred design and digitalization in INTERACT research unit in University of Oulu. Her research focus is on sustainable development and use of technology at different levels: individual, organizational and society level. School as an organization and children’s technology use are close to her heart: what is children’s genuine possibility to affect the decisions that concern them as well as their technology-rich environment.

Netta Iivari is a Professor in Information Systems and research unit leader of INTERACT research unit in University of Oulu. She has background in Cultural Anthropology as well as in Information Systems and Human Computer Interaction. Her long-lasting research interest concerns understanding and strengthening people's participation in shaping and making their digital futures. Her research has focused on empowerment of children in and through design and Making. Her research is strongly influenced by interpretive and critical research traditions. Currently, she is examining critical design and Making in collaboration of children.

Charu Monga is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Design, Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi. Her research interests include communication, digital media, animation, cultural construction, and designing for children. Her current research focuses on investigating virtualization techniques to promote cultural construction towards educational areas. Previously, she was a faculty member at the Department of Design in Indian Institute of Technology Guwahati, where she led the ARLab, embracing digital media technologies to develop impactful communication strategies.


This research is connected to the Participatory AI with Schoolchildren (PAIZ) project and Make-A-Difference project (MAD) at the INTERACT Research Unit, and the GenZ project, a strategic profiling project in human sciences at the University of Oulu. The projects are supported by the Academy of Finland (Grant #340603, Grant #318930, and Grant #324685) and the University of Oulu.