The User Research Lab (UXR)  is an eight-week immersive fellowship that aims to 1) prepare returning citizens for careers in the fields at the intersections of  Computer Science, Data Science, Social Work,  Emerging Technology and other disciplines shaped by Artificial Intelligence while; 2) disrupting the tech industry’s challenges with diversity, ethics, and inclusion by infusing a new pipeline of tech workers with critical expertise and diverse lived experiences. 

Fellows will gain new skills in design, development, and project management. This project is a collaboration at Columbia University in the City of New York with the SAFElab at the School of Social Work, the Data Science Institute and the Office of Government and Community Affairs.  We have partnered with established companies and nonprofit organizations in the AI and tech sector to engage Fellows in immersive research, policy and design projects. Our partners include:  Spotify, The Rainey Center, and A.I. For the People. Fellows will also participate in coding sessions led by The Code Cooperative, learning to create and build technology that’ll positively impact their communities.

Throughout the UXR Lab, Fellows will leverage their expertise to identify and study bias in AI and emerging technologies, and identify where AI solutions can be applied with a critical sociocultural lens. Our Fellows will incorporate their lived experiences within their communities and across various systems to shape the development, integration, and deployment of ethical emerging technologies for all.