3 Compelling AI Provocations From a Hands-on Workshop

By Kathryn Marinaro


argodesign hosted an Executive Generative AI Workshop and opened its doors to 50 executives and design professionals from around the country. The emphasis at the two-day event was a primer on the quickly evolving space of generative AI, and how to apply a user and value-centric approach to employing it. After breaking into small groups, participants imagined real applications against real challenges, using an immersive, participatory framework developed in-house at argo. The ideas generated provide a hint of the wide-ranging business problems that can be solved with AI. Here are three that stood out.


The Shift Steward

The Shift Steward helps increase temp workers’ work rate by better assigning, scheduling, and routing those workers to specific jobs and job sites. This AI system proactively plans, assigns, and reschedules contractors based on their commute and traffic and the jobsite needs. With access to a worker’s skill set and location, and the job requirements and regional and seasonal trends, the system can more accurately assign workers, reduce overhead, and communicate those changes with little additional oversight, thus increasing placement and overall shifts worked by each individual.

Assigning temporary workers can be tricky, with a plethora of variables to balance in order to best place those workers, including their skill set, location, and duration of availability. Even the daily commute and weather contribute to making a match, which can make it difficult to make efficient decisions within the time allotted.


The Lifeline Link

The Lifeline Link utilizes AI to analyze personal, social media, and medical data (within HIPPA compliance), along with sentiment analysis to identify early signs of self-harm or suicidal tendencies. It employs predictive analytics to assess risk and prescriptive analytics to advise healthcare professionals when to intervene. For instance, it might prompt a counselor to contact a teenager exhibiting a negative shift in social media behavior and medical history of depression. Alternatively, it could alert a social worker to reach out to a veteran showing signs of isolation and a lapse in PTSD medication treatment, ensuring timely support.




PrecisePaws is an AI-powered pet grooming assistant designed to provide dog owners with instant, accurate grooming quotes, while allowing grooming businesses to seamlessly manage scheduling. For example, when a pet owner uploads a photo of their shaggy Siberian Husky, this system identifies its thick, double coat, providing a detailed service quote for shampooing, de-shedding, and styling, including a time estimate for the services. The assistant then displays available time slots for the owner to book an appointment. If the owner proceeds, the system offers transportation options to provide convenient door-to-door service, arranging both pickup and drop-off times that sync with the grooming session.

Similarly, for a small Shih Tzu with a long, flowing coat, the system would recognize the need for a delicate trim and styling, quote accordingly, and allocate a longer appointment to accommodate meticulous grooming. This assistant not only simplifies the booking process for dog owners but also empowers businesses with optimized scheduling, eliminating guesswork and maximizing efficiency.

We’ve been designing for AI since our very first client 10 years ago. If you’re looking for more of our insights on this rapidly changing topic, check out the report we co-produced with House of Beautiful Business.

About the Author

Kathryn Marinaro is an award-winning Creative Director who envisions the future and develops products and strategies for a wide variety of clients at argodesign. She is the author of Prototyping for Designers, published by O’Reilly, and has employed user-centered methodologies to create and iterate on impactful experiences in health wearables, AI interaction patterns, AI image recognition and training interfaces, and cloud development tools, while working on world-class design teams like IBM Watson Visioneering and IBM Mobile Innovation Lab.