Crafting Future Knowledge Artifacts: Leveraging RAG-Augmented LLMs in Ethnography

Date and Time: Monday, Aug. 19, 4:00–5:30pm Pacific Time

Location: Santa Monica College Performing Arts Center (on-site only)

⭐ Pre-registration is required for this session! The session is FREE but capacity is limited. Sign up in Los Angeles when you pick up your badge at the information desk on Sunday or Monday morning.

Created and facilitated by:

Thomas J McLeish, Lecturer, University of California, Berkeley

This Interactive experience takes ethnographers on a co-creative journey to making their own conversational agents. We’ll explore how LLMs might augment the production of ethnographic work to create new forms of expression and interaction, shifting how people think about the output of ethnographic work. Specifically, participants will get hands-on experience creating RAG-augmented LLM conversational agents (Retrieval Augmented Generation, an approach to improving the accuracy and relevance of LLM output using specific datasets). Participants will exit the experience with access to an agent they have co-authored and can share with others.

TJ McLeish, UC Berkeley lecturer and technologist, pioneers human-centered design research with AI and digital ecosystems. His diverse work, including the Colloquy of Mobiles and Iota Partners, spans art, design, and systems. His research and professional practice revolve around the impact of machine learning models on design interventions and creating responsive digital environments. He champions equipping designers with the frameworks and skills to author innovative design methods and tools.