Dr. Murray-Rust, D.

Dave Murray-Rust is Associate Professor in Human-Algorithm Interaction Design at the Faculty of Industrial Design Engineering. He explores the messy terrain between people, data, algorithms and things through a combination of making and thinking to build better futures for humans and AI. He also holds an Honorary Fellowship with the University of Edinburgh.

His work centres on systems that use data as a medium for design while exploring social and technical issues and the agencies between humans and machines. It is multidisciplinary, touching on computer science, design theories, design ethnography and digital sociology. This involves questions such as how to design the interactions that let machine learning algorithms develop amicable co-dependencies with humans, how artificial intelligence can make sense of human behaviour to support design insights, and how designerly approaches can improve the understanding and creation of data driven systems and improve the societal functioning of AI as a discipline.

He has given invited talks at ZKM, Ars Electronica, the Beyond Symposium and more, but a good summary of recent work is covered in this Design Informatics Seminar:

And in a group talk at Ars Electronica (from 3:33:31):

Academic Background

From 2015 to 2020 Murray-Rust was part of the Design Informatics group in Edinburgh exploring interactions between data and society. This included co-founding the Chatty Factories project that explores the use of realtime data alongside advanced manufacturing to rethink design processes, and the GeoPact project, looking at smart contracts and location data to create secure agreements about time and place. He was Programme Director for the world leading Design Informatics MFA (https://www.eca.ed.ac.uk/study/postgraduate/design-informatics-mfama) that brings together scientific data processing with creative concept development to support designers of the future in engaging critically with AI, IoT, blockchains and other emerging technological advances, and Director of Inspace (https://inspace.ed.ac.uk/) - a nexus for art-science collaboration around data.

Previously, he was a researcher with the SociaM project (https://sociam.org/), looking at how "social machines" support human interaction online, and prior to that a postdoc with GeoSciences in Edinburgh University looking at how to model human interactions with the environment around land use and climate change.

Involved in the research project(s):

Media coverage:

  • British Computing Society Art and AI award in the Lumen Prize 2019 for Lichtsuchende