Keywords: Developmental Psychology; Human-AI Interaction; Digital Assistants; Racial Equity; Qualitative Methods
Digital assistants (DAs) such as Siri, Google Assistant, or Alexa are among most accessible forms of artificial intelligence (AI) in the lives of youth. As such, it is important to ensure that these technologies are designed to be culturally inclusive, especially in relation to youth from groups underrepresented in STEM. The goal of this paper is to develop and evaluate methods to elicit feedback about AI and racial equity in the context of how Black and Latinx youth (aged 8-12) interact with DAs. The study design includes two iterations of instrument design, deployment, and evaluation. The first approach, narrative interviews, tended to uncover the roles played by the devices in the participants’ everyday lives, but obscured the actual interactions with the device. The second approach, observational interviews, exposed reasoning about the device and what it is doing but tended to obscure aspects of family history and culture due to device-level frictions, as the devices did not always behave as expected during the interviews. The paper illustrates approaches for eliciting feedback about AI and racial equity, including how online data collection can be used during a pandemic. The paper also explores potential future steps for engaging youth in the process of developing more equitable technology.