Desiging AI Beings of the Future

Research Lab at UC Davis at the intersection of Human-centric AI and Critical, Speculative & Participatory Design

About Us

We are living in an era where our collective imagination is birthing "AI Beings" that would live, work and play with us. At the "AI Beings Lab", we research, imagine, and build AI Beings on the values of care, empathy, trust, and equitable conduct. The lab is being directed by Prof. Tanuja Mishra at the Department of Design at University of California Davis.

Research Projects

Bots & Beings
cAIr Takers
Craft Bots: AI & Decolonaility

"Bots & Beings" is democratizing access to open-source AI tools so that designers, artists, technologists, and makers from DIY communities can understand, adopt, and implement AI technologies. It empowers creators to deploy these technologies in their own lives, within their communities, and in the world for wider impact.

"cAIr Takers" questions what "intelligence" could be in the world of Artificial Intelligence. In the realm of human intelligence, we have gone beyond narrow definitions of IQ to acknowledge a diversity of intelligences stemming from different ways of sensing, thinking, acting, growing, and relating to each other and the environment. Could machines also exhibit alternate forms of intelligence based on acts of care, trust-inducing actions, and ethical and equitable conduct?

"CraftBots" is a collaborative research project with Dr. Seher Mirza at the University of the Arts London. It investigates how craft communities in South Asia could appropriate and use AI as a tool, and as a cultural prosthetic to develop community-based, and decolonial voices. The “CraftBots” are being developed collaboratively to develop voices that are not necessarily text-based but are inclusive of various forms of expression that are culturally imbued, embodied, visual and multi-sensory.

64 AI Goddesses

"64 AI Goddesses" imagines an alternate AI future built upon feminist, decolonial and democratic values. It draws influence from the hypaethral yogini temples of India that were based on a high reverence for nature and the divine feminine. The project is assessing the impact of the current AI revolution through the eyes of women from indigenous and rural communities in India.