Academic Mindtrek workshop 2021 (conference days June 1st-3rd, Workshop day June 1st)

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As Artificial Intelligence (AI) is integrated into all things technical, there is a valid concern over its lack of diversity, inclusiveness, and accessibility. Further, questions such as what it means for AI to be accessible and inclusive, why is inclusive AI required, and how can it be achieved, is an emerging area of research. In this full-day two-part workshop, we will explore the nuanced challenges towards Accessible and Inclusive AI together with participants with diverse backgrounds. First, we will collaboratively define Accessible and Inclusive AI (AIAI), building on the diverse experiences of the participants and moderators. The goal is to contribute to the formulation of a shared vision for Accessibility and AI as well as identify the challenges and opportunities towards realizing this vision. Working in small teams, participants will collaboratively conceptually design a future scenario for AIAI or critically analyse an example solution. The aim is for teams to tackle tough questions related to what it means for AI to be accessible and inclusive, while addressing algorithmic biases and limitations of AI, in addition to opportunities for overcoming them in the future. Finally teams will present their conceptual designs and scenarios in the larger group. Overall, the workshop will ignite innovative, and even provocative, ideas and future scenarios, building towards an inclusive and accessible AI.

Workshop goals

  • Reflect on previous work in AIAI, through presentations by the workshop moderators.
  • Build on the previous research and workshop participants’ work, creating a shared vision for AIAI, with a focus on:
    • ethical aspects of AI with marginalized users, especially with regards to human agency
    • identifying the challenges and opportunities
    • devising future pathways and defining ways for monitoring progress
    • creating an agenda for future research in this domain
    • Provide participants an opportunity to experience using future-oriented approaches, that they can add to their ’ ‘methodological toolbox’.
  • When exploring the future-oriented methods, examining how they can be adapted to designing accessible and inclusive AI applications, with a focus on advantages and limitations of these methods within the context of empowerment of marginalized users.

Tentative schedule

Session 1 (120 mins) Session 2 (120 mins)

15 mins: Introduction to the workshop and agenda (UO)

15 mins: Participant introductions in small teams in breakout rooms

15 mins: Accessible AI (expert presentation, TAU)

15 mins: Empowering AI (expert presentation, UO)

15 mins: AI Systems for Inclusive Education & Disabilities (expert presentation, Amrita)

15 mins: Human Centered AI (expert presentation, IIIT-D)

15 mins: AI and Privacy in the context of Accessibility and Inclusivity (expert presentation, Amrita)

30 mins: Team activity in breakout rooms

Discuss and consider:

  • What is Accessible and Inclusive AI – how do we define it?
  • What are some challenges identify the challenges towards this vision as well as consider the opportunities and ways to overcome challenges in the future?

45 mins: Team activity in breakout rooms

Design one future scenario where accessible or inclusive AI is used:

  • Consider how one or more of the challenges identified in the team activity #2 were alleviated with this design scenario/solution
  • Reflect on what needs to change to realize this scenario in the future.
15 mins: Team presentation to the larger group 15 mins: Team presentation to the larger group

15 mins: Introduction to future-oriented methods (expert presentation, UO)

15 mins: Workshop wrap-up and next steps (TAU)

Call for participation

In this full-day workshop, we aim to formulate a shared vision for accessible and inclusive AI and identify the challenges and opportunities towards this vision. We invite students, researchers, experts, and practitioners, interested in AI from the perspectives of inclusion and accessibility, and through those also empowerment, to collaboratively explore and reimagine AI futures. We also invite researchers who have an interest in critical design, design fiction, speculative design, and other future oriented design approaches and application of those in this challenging arena of design.

Please fill in this this form to participate in the workshop. Please note that participation to the workshop is free for all students.  It is laso possible to submit a short position paper (in the new ACM template, max 3 pages, as a .docx file) through the form. In the paper, please mention

  • author names and affiliations,
  • a short description of your research interests, driving values and motivations, goals, and your vision for the future of your own research,
  • a short mention of how your work addresses the workshop topic,
  • a short paragraph on your own vision and goals for AIAI, and
    • how do you see that it would be possible to reach that vision?
    • who are the ones whose actions are needed for the vision to come true?
    • and how it is possible to measure that the vision comes true?
  • Optionally, you can also provide an overview of a study, project, or research paper that you are most proud of.

Please note that submiting the position paper is optional. Participation to the workshop does not require any fee nor registration to the confernece, however, maximumn number of participants is limited to 45. Participant registration is now closed.

[Last updated May 28th 2021]


Dr. 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 how technology changes our everyday lives in many ways, at society level, organizational level, as well as at individual level. Professor Netta Iivari is a Professor in Information Systems and research unit leader of INTERACT Research Unit in University of Oulu. Her research addresses critical design, critical Making, empowerment and inclusion. Dr. 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 marginalized users.

Dr. Grace Eden is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Human-Centered at Indraprastha Institute of Information Technology, Delhi (IIITD). She conducts teaching and research with a focus on interaction design and user experience to understand the effects of technology on human behaviour, communication and social interaction.

Dr. Markku Turunen is a professor of Interactive Technology in the Faculty of Information Technology and Communication Sciences at Tampere University, Finland (TAU). He is leading a research group on Pervasive Interaction and a M.Sc. programme on Sustainable Digital Life. Recently, he established with his colleagues a research and education unit on accessibility entitled “TACCU - TACCU –Tampere Accessibility Unit” ( 

Dr. Krishnashree Achuthan is the Dean of Post Graduate Programs at Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham and Dr. Prema Nedungadi is Director of AmritaCREATE, an award-winning, research center that focuses on multidisciplinary research at the intersection of Computer Science, Education, Social Sciences.

Tero Avellan is a doctoral researcher in Interactive Technology in the Faculty of Information Technology and Communication Sciences at Tampere University, Finland (TAU). His research focuses on the various socio-technical aspects of accessible and assistive technology in the society of the future.

Rucha Tulaskar is a doctoral researcher in Interactive Technology from faculty of Information Technology and Communication Sciences from Tampere University (TAU). Her work focuses on exploring immersive technology like social Virtual Reality for remote higher education.

Biju Thankachan is a doctoral candidate in Interactive Technology at Tampere University, Finland. His research focuses on designing and developing interactive solutions for emergent and remote users. Currently, he is working on exploring the usage of Artificial Intelligence among small and medium enterprises in Tampere. His academic research is on designing and developing Voice User Interfaces in Semi-Public Spaces, especially for the elderly population.