The University of Sheffield
AI and robots in HE design fictions v19082020.docx (35.89 kB)

AI and robots in Higher Education: Eight design fictions

Download (35.89 kB)
posted on 2020-08-19, 12:39 authored by Andrew CoxAndrew Cox
Eight design fictions that imagine the application of AI and robots to Higher Education (HE).

Based on a wide ranging literature review, the fictions instantiate the possibilities and controversies around AI and robots as applied in the university context, including teaching, administration and research.

The methods used to design this version of the fictions are described in the paper "The development of a collection of design fictions about Artificial Intelligence and robots in Higher Education" (

Design fictions create a speculative space in which to raise questions about whether a particular technology is desirable, the socio-cultural assumptions built into technologies, the potential for different technologies to make different worlds, our relation to technology in general, indeed our role in making the future happen in general.

They can be used in research or teaching to elicit opinions about the future application of AI and robots to HE.

Fiction 1: AIDan, the teaching assistant
Fiction 2: Footbotball
Fiction 3: CriticalBot in conversation
Fiction 4: The intelligent campus app
Fiction 5: Research Management Suite TM
Fiction 6: Verbatim minutes of University AI project steering committee: AI implementation phase 3
Fiction 7: Dashboards
Fiction 8: Minnie, the AI admin assistant

The project was funded by Society of Research into Higher Education - Research Scoping Award -SA1906. As such the fictions are the property of SRHE and deposited here by permission.

The research was approved by the University of Sheffield, Information School under ethics application 032657


Society of Research into Higher Education - Research Scoping Award -SA1906



  • The project has ethical approval and have included the number in the description field


  • The data complies with the institution and funders' policies on access and sharing

Sharing and access restrictions

  • The data can be shared openly

Data description

  • The file formats are open or commonly used

Methodology, headings and units

  • Headings and units are explained in the files