Curriculum  |    |  August 1, 2018

A People’s Guide to AI

Curriculum developed by Mimi Onuoha and Mother Cyborg (Diana Nucera).

What does listening to music, booking a flight, and getting stopped by the police all have in common? All these activities may involve artificial intelligence (AI) at work today.

As automation, machine learning and big data increasingly control our daily lives, the consequences of AI disproportionately affect historically disadvantaged communities who are technologically redlined. 

What does fairness look like when computers shape decision-making? The path to a more equitable future starts with the humans behind the machines, not just algorithms. Can AI be created by and for low-income and communities of color? This popular education-inspired guide breaks down and contextualizes artificial intelligence technologies within structural racism — and provides hands-on exercises to help us imagine beyond, and dream up alternate and ideal futures with AI.

Table of Contents

Everyday AI

  • Glossary of Terms
  • AI and the Quest to Compute the Human Brain
  • AI in Action
  • Understanding AI
  • Everyday AI Activity


  • What is an Algorithm?
  • Computer Algorithms
  • Embodying Social Algorithms

Machine Learning

  • The Difference Between AI and Machine Learning
  • Pattern Recognition and Prediction
  • Examples of Machine Learning Algorithms
  • Deep Learning: Computers That “Learn”
  • Pattern Finder Activity


  • AI in Social Spaces
  • A Paradigm Shift
  • A Speculative Sci-Fi Activity
  • The Agency We Have

About the Authors

  • Mimi Onuoha is a Brooklyn-based artist, researcher, and technologist investigating the social implications of data collection. Her work uses text, code, performance, and objects to explore missing data and the ways in which people are abstracted, represented, and classified.
  • Mother Cyborg (also known as Diana Nucera) is here to escort you into the future with love. In 2017 she released her debut album, Pressure Systems, an opus to the power of self-transformation. She is an organizer and artist whose work focuses on developing popular education materials that empower communities to use media and technology to investigate, illuminate, and develop visionary solutions to challenges. Her music and laser performance build opportunities to connect stories, invigorate the soul and elevate our collective consciousness of technology.
Eyeo Festival 2019 – Presentation by Diana Nucera.
Runtime 44 minutes.
33:50 – A People’s Guide to AI
Diana Nucera – 2019 Kresge Artist Fellow.
Runtime 3 minutes.