Job Opportunity: Critical Designer @ AI Now Institute

Critical Designer, Data Genesis

The AI Now Institute at New York University is seeking a full-time Critical Designer to advance AI Now’s Data Genesis Program. We welcome qualified candidates from all disciplines to apply. 

Job Listing

About the Data Genesis Program 

Machine learning systems are profoundly influenced by the data they’re trained on and evaluated against. Yet there has been a lack of research into the processes of how such data is created, labeled, and used in practice. Since our first Data Genesis workshop in 2017, the AI Now Institute has been developing new approaches to study, assess and understand the connection between the data that shapes machine learning systems, and the biases and limitations such systems exhibit when applied.

What type of information is used as training data? Who generates and collects it and for what purpose? Which populations does it reflect? Who and what does it exclude? How does that affect the functioning of AI systems themselves? And how could it be improved? These are some of the questions the Data Genesis Program will address. Additional information can be found in our program announcement here

Key Responsibilities

Working closely with the program’s Principal Investigators, the Critical Designer will scope, iterate, and develop meaningful visualizations based on AI Now’s Data Genesis research. These will help communicate the nature and importance of the work to a broader audience and illuminate our findings, analyses, and methods. This work will further map and expose the ways in which training data is constructed and the implications of their use in the context of socially-deployed AI models. 

As a member of the Data Genesis program team, the Critical Designer will develop novel visual approaches to representing our research methods and outputs with an emphasis on the social and political implications of datasets, and their reach and impact across core AI systems. This work would develop modes of visual representation and communication that are capable of reaching far broader audiences beyond what academic papers, policy briefs, and reports would alone.

In this role, you will: 

  • Design and iterate on visualizations for Data Genesis research products to further serve the purpose of legibly and effectively communicating urgent issues in the social impacts of Artificial Intelligence
  • Create regular stream of high quality original digital assets to tell the story of our work
  • Contribute to AI Now’s broader research agenda and organizational programs, aligned with your interests and capacity. 
  • Help build AI Now. On a small and growing team, every member has an important role in building the systems, processes, and culture that make up our organization.


This is a full-time two-year position, with the possibility of renewal. Annual salary is commensurate with experience. We offer a competitive benefits package through New York University, including health coverage, dental and vision plans, and retirement, as well as generous paid time off and supportive parental leave policies. Additionally, you will have access to annual professional development funds. Relocation assistance may be provided as needed.

Preferred Qualifications

Candidates should be driven to understand the social and political implications of AI and related systems and be interested in working in an interdisciplinary environment. Candidates from any academic discipline are encouraged to apply. Additionally, candidates should have:

  • At least 5 years’ relevant professional experience.
  • Formal academic background, such as a BFA in Graphic Design, Digital Media Design, Communication Design, or commensurate work experience; advanced degree a plus, Bachelor’s degree required.
  • A strong design portfolio, in line with your career stage, that demonstrates your experience making research interventions using visual methodologies.   
  • Excellent communication skills with the ability to translate technical topics into compelling narratives for a range of audiences and contexts.
  • Ability to think across disciplines and collaborate with researchers, technologists, and public audiences around understanding the implications of AI.
  • Effective time management skills to balance multiple project schedules with fast-paced deadlines.
  • Genuine commitment to building healthy teams and collaborations and to mentoring junior staff.
  • Ability to work on-site at our offices in New York City; while there may be opportunities to work remotely on occasion, this job will necessitate your being on-site.

Please submit your application via our online form here.