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Why AI Isn't (Yet) the Answer for Design

As defined by a human
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Chris Gardiner
4th - Dec, 2023
Bed rest with my faithful buddy

The AI revolution is here, and it is NOT going away any time soon.

While AI can churn out countless design variations, it lacks the critical thinking and strategic vision needed to create truly impactful and meaningful design solutions.

Human or Ai? Is that the question?

AI, better referred to as Artificial intelligence is in the process of completely transforming a multitude of sectors worldwide, and more specifically in the Design and Development industry. This bring up the question of whether AI is presently capable of replacing human designers. In the short time OpenAI introduced ChatGPT, AI have skyrocketed its way into society.

But in my opinion, we are just not there as of this post.

But why?

  1. Humans are thinkers, tweakers and inventors

    AI lacks direct creativity and empathy. It can mimic and create but not with real thought, emotion and draw from actual experience. It struggles with the ability to empathise with the user or client. Success of a design requires more than the ability to recreate something, it requires understanding the human feedback, the intelligence to adapt to the needs of a specific audience. AI lacks the intuitive understanding of human behaviour and emotional intelligence required to achieve this goal - at least for now!
  2. Context and understanding

    AI algorithms are trained on huge sets of data, however they lack actual understanding of the data. This is critical in design to know what direction a specific design should take. These tools can impressively output some stunning visuals, mind blowing at times but do they address the specific needs and goals of a set project, or does it resonate with the specific target audience. A human designers, on the other hand, can leverage their years of built knowledge, experience, and critical thinking in order to make an informed design decisions based on the larger picture.
  3. Bias vs ethical considerations

    A quote from Wikipedia:

    "In computer science, garbage in, garbage out is the concept that flawed, biased or poor quality information or input produces a similar result or output. The adage points to the need to improve data quality in, for example, programming. Rubbish in, rubbish out is an alternate wording."

    The AI tools are only as good as the data used in the training process. If the data includes biases in any way, this can reflect on the outputted data leading to some not so ideal outputs. A human designer can critically evaluate a project, that includes their own designs and weigh that against the needed brief and or required outcome. This allows for the evaluation of and known biases from the actual person.. one might like a specific colour over another and the project may require the lesser liked colour as an example.
  4. Is it us vs them?

    The question my not be 'can AI replace us?' but can we collaborate with the AI Tools vs compete with them. Ai is a new tool after all, and we need to stop thinking wether it will take jobs vs how can we leverage these tools to make not only our lives better but our jobs too. Before desktop publishing, there was letter setting an we humans simple adapted to this new tool that make things a little easier and better all in all (at least in my opinion).

    Our mindsets need to change. These tools can assist designers in so many different ways, it can provide suggestions, variations (to your own concepts). Additional to that, it can automating repetitive tasks where needed, and even provide insights that you may not have thought about. This can give designers more time to focus on the things that we are good at, creativity, strategy and so much more.
  5. A human / AI joint venture

    In my opinion, Ai is not going to compete with us, it will develop into an awesome partner. The tools and capabilities will grow and the developers will strive to guide and direct the AI tool in a way that not just DO, but DO for US. From a designers point for view, AI should empowers us human designers to enhance our creativity, through efficiency, and create a new impact moving forward.

The most impressive thing for me is how fast these tools have progressed in such a short space of time, and at this point, these tools are mere conceptual infants. The main hope is that we build these tools responsibly, with the path as discussed above of being collaborators and not disrupters in any field they touch.

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