The Design + AI Series


Learn to Build Better Products with AI

July 10-12, 2017 at Galvanize HQ,  6:00PM - 9:00PM

The Cascade SF team has been working hard to help designers prepare for the future of design jobs.  By learning about AI, designers can unite with automation to create a unique career path that fits within the marketplace. We don't want to fear the future of technology – we want to work with it to improve the quality of life and make it easier to accomplish our dreams.   


Monday, July 10, 2017

Day 1: AI, Bots & Emerging Technology

"Machine Learning for Everyone"

Roger Pincombe, Senior Full-Stack Software Engineer
Previously at Microsoft, Hired, Adobe, & many startups


AI and machine learning is getting all sorts of buzz, but what does it actually solve? What does it do?  How does it work?  What problems can it be applied to?

In this presentation, Roger Pincombe, Machine Learning Expert and Software Engineer will teach us practical advice for applying machine learning to problems we deal with in the real world.  This talk will help us understand:  

  • An overview of machine learning, basic concepts, and how they work

  • Different types of algorithms and real-world examples to match them

  • The difference between AI + machine learning

  • How AI works when we have more or less data


"Chatbots & Conversational UI"

Alexandra Lee, UX Researcher and Chatbot Designer

Chatbots are revolutionizing technology and simplifying the user experience. When designed properly, chatbots save us time, make recommendations, increase engagement and provide us with immediate access to what we're looking for.

In this presentation, we'll learn about best practices and techniques for designing chatbots. We'll also look at conversational design, character development, and communication etiquette.


"How AI is Transforming a Designer's Role"

Nick Velloff, Chief Product Officer at The Grid

Stay tuned for talk details!


TUESDAY, July 11, 2017

Day 2: Ethics

“Tragic Design”

Jonathan Shariat, Senior Interaction Designer at Intuit
& COAuthor of “Tragic Design” (O’Reily)

In this presentation, Jonathan Shariat, Author of “Tragic Design” will teach us about real case studies showcasing how design choices affect users.  You’ll learn about:

  • How design affects emotions

  • Biases that occur in design

  • Dark patterns

  • How to advocate for ethical design when it isn’t easy

  • Designs that can kill, including the bad interface that doomed a young cancer patient

  • Tools and techniques to help you design a more thoughtful interface


"A Primer on Ethical Design Practices"

Faruk Ates, Product Designer

Designing ethical products involves genuine care about the people who use them. We can make the technology we create reflect our best selves by studying ethics, and borrowing concepts standardized across other industries. In this talk you will:   

  • Understand the unforeseen impacts of big data, algorithms, and technologies at scale

  • Learn how morality and ethics affect our industry

  • See how ethical design can benefit our field and, in turn, our customers and users

  • Discover unexpected sources of inspiration that can teach you about ethics in helpful, applicable ways


"Designing Smart Things:  Balancing Ethics & Choice"

Gretchen Anderson, Head of Design at PG&E

Gretchen Anderson explores the challenges we face when designing the user experiences of the complex behavioral agents that increasingly run our lives.  You’ll learn how to:  

  • Understand current thinking by the AI community on ethics and morality in computing and the challenges it presents

  • Explore examples of the ethical choices that products make now and will make in the near future

  • Learn how designers might approach designing experiences that face moral dilemmas


WEDNESDAY, July 12, 2017

Day 3: Design, Data & DEFENSE!!!

"The Future of Design Jobs with Automation"

Blake Hudelson, Interaction Designer at Method

As technology becomes smarter, the role of the designer is evolving. Software is gaining the ability to draw on its own, sort and choose captivating imagery, and handle the production work that designers do now. How will artificial intelligence and new software transform the role of the designer? Blake Hudelson, Interaction Designer at Method, will teach us. 


"How to Protect Yourself Online"

John Adams, Cybersecurity Engineer + Hacktivist

John Adams, former Twitter Security lead, will teach us how to protect our online identity and personal information in the world of online surveillance, data mining and hacking.


"Designing Security Software"  

Claudia Love, Product Design Manager at Cisco


Claudia Love from the Cisco Umbrella team will teach us new tools that protect enterprises from data hacks and leaks. She will also teach us about:

  • Challenges and complexities of designing online security software

  • How their design team is structured within a security-focused product.


Produced by:


Cascade SF is a design and technology organization based in San Francisco, CA. 
Designers and mentors come together to teach each other the latest tips, tricks and techniques for designing apps and web sites.

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Located in SoMa, Galvanize San Francisco takes collaboration to a whole new level, with five floors of creators, innovators, and passionate learners. And don’t forget the rooftop, with gorgeous views of downtown and the San Francisco Bay. From events to workshops to the thriving startup ecosystem, our SoMa campus provides the opportunity to learn, connect and build your startup. This campus is full of energy, intelligence, and motivation – we welcome you to walk through these doors, join our community and be inspired to level up.

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