Anatomy of an AI System
An anatomical case study of the Amazon Echo as an artificial intelligence system made of human labour, data and planetary resources.
The consensus among climate scientists is that human activity is the root cause of an ongoing planetary crisis. The way in which everyday decisions and the devices we buy can add to this issue are sometimes difficult to comprehend.
Taking a consumer’s conversation with Alexa, Amazon’s voice-activated assistant, as its starting point, designers and researchers Kate Crawford and Vladan Joler created a map and essay to represent the impact of the creation, use and disposal of just one of the many Amazon Echo units that have been purchased to date.