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Dfrome is an organic and dynamic creativity support tool for promoting engineers' practice of ethical design e.g. ethical AI design. For this objective, Dfrome equips an AI-based engine which utilizes own knowledge base containing ethical discourses, technical ideas, etc.

Dfrome is also an experimental equipment and has begun to provide observation data which allows us to verify that ethics can enhance creative design activity.

This work started almost ten years ago [1] and some recent results have been reported as journal papers [2-3].


To use Dfrome, two interfaces are available: a browser and an editor.

Browser Editor
On Dfrome's browser, users can find scenarios which are better for them to take into consideration. On Dfrome's editor, users can interactively edit their own ideas in a tree-like form by following the ethical design theory below.
In addition to basic editorial functions, this editor also provides semi-automatic generation functions which allow a user to get a draft of his/her own ideas in a tree-like form when he/she queries a text. This editor provides the scenario path recommendation functions, too.


Dfrome is based on the ethical design theory in which design perspectives and design description method are defined to seamlessly deal with ethical issues and technical ones. The perspectives are what we call "design from the ethics level" and the description method is "design with discourse".

Design from the ethics level Design with discourse
We placed the ethics level on the top of the hierarchical representation of artifacts, at which social values are to be expressed e.g. freedom, equality, sustainability, etc.
Then, we set another dimension in which personal concerns are to be expressed. For example, motivation, desire, problem awareness, etc. are as Personal reasons; incentive, reward, future works, etc. are as Effects on me/us.
These dimensions become three dimensional. However, Dfrome adopted the simplified three-dimensional representation for its easy handling.
The basic idea of design with discourse is to describe changes which designed artifacts will cause.
There three kinds of description:
(1) Because (of) A as a personal reason, I/we design that B will change to C in the hierarchical representation of artifacts.
(2) If B is changed to C at the parameter level, then D will change to E at the target level.
(3) If D is changed to E, then F will change to G as the effects on me/us.
By connecting these descriptions, ideas will be a tree-like form representation.

Related work

[1] K. Sekiguchi, K. Tanaka and K. Hori: "Design with Discourse" to Design from the "Ethics Level", in T. W. DruzŐĆovec, H. Jaakkola, Y. Kiyoki, T. Tokuda and N. Yoshida (Ed), Frontiers in Artificial Intelligence and Applications, Volume 206: Information Modelling and Knowledge Bases XXI, pp. 307-314, IOS Press, Amsterdam, 2010.

[2] K. Sekiguchi and K. Hori: Organic and Dynamic Tool for Use with Knowledge Base of AI Ethics for Promoting Engineers' Practice of Ethical AI Design, AI & Society, Vol. 35, pp. 51-71, 2020.

[3] K. Sekiguchi and K. Hori: Designing Ethical Artifacts Has Resulted in Creative Design: Empirical Studies on the Effect of an Ethical Design Support Tool, AI & Society, Vol. 36, pp. 101-148, 2021.

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** Note: Essays are available on website of Kaira Sekiguchi.