Would you like a consult from a design team that has both the skills and advanced technology to get your project to success? We are here to help!
AI and Designer: Friends or Foe?
AI (Artificial Intelligence) has made remarkable advancements in recent years and holds great potential to revolutionize numerous industries, including design. While there is an ongoing debate about whether AI will eventually replace designers, some experts argue that a combination of AI and human designers' strengths can shape the future of design work.
It is very natural to wonder how exactly it will impact the role of the designer because both have their unique strengths and weaknesses. On one hand, AI can perform tasks with efficiency, speed and provide innovative solutions. On the other hand, designers bring human intuition, emotions, creativity and deep understanding to the arena. It is important to understand that advanced technology is meant to bring new opportunities for designers, rather than threaten their profession. By embracing AI, designers can enhance their work by automating repetitive tasks and focus on more creative work. For example, AI can be trained to automate certain design tasks such as color correction, pattern recognition, layout and composition to free up designer’s time. It is crucial for designers to stay ahead of the curve in terms of developing their skills, adopting new technologies and trends to become more efficient and create unique, even better and impactful designs.
As of now, there are many AI tools which have contributed to enhancing the field of design. Here are a few examples:
This is an interesting tool from Microsoft that uses AI to convert sketches into HTML code. Yes, you read that right. This AI tool generates working HTML code from hand drawn or wireframe sketches. The web app works by capturing the images, running them through its prebuilt AI model, and translating them into corresponding basic HTML codes. It provides great start up points for web designers by generating basic layouts instead of starting from scratch.
Figure1: Signup page generated from basic sketch using Sketch2code by Microsoft. Figure2: Product page with image placeholder using Sketch2code by Microsoft.
Dall-E and Dall-E 2
Dall-E and Dall-E 2 are AI deep learning models that generate unique graphics and illustrations from textual descriptions. After a launch in 2021 by Open AI, it got a lot of attention because of its impressive ability to create images based on imaginative descriptions. Dall-E is trained to understand relationships between objects, shapes, colors, etc. in images. After providing a “prompt“ as an input, it can generate highly imaginative images which do not exist in real life. For example, it can generate images of a “bread that is filled with electronic circuitry“ or a “portrait of a pug in armor with long magic staff.“ Dall-E can manipulate images based on the concept and relationship described in the input.
Figure3: Bread filled with electronic circuitry generated using Dall E.
Figure4: Pug wearing armor with magic staff generated using Dall E.
Dall-E can serve as a valuable tool for designers by providing a source of inspiration and generating diverse, creative, and unique images. This feature is particularly helpful for traditional and digital illustration artists who need visual content as a reference, saving them time and effort that would otherwise go into manual searches or creating concept images from scratch. If you've ever found yourself searching for inspiration, only to be uninspired by the same old Google search images, Dall-E can help by generating an entirely new library of images to spark your creativity.
Lexica is a search engine for AI generated images and text prompts and is essentially a vast library of Stable Diffusion Images. One of its greatest advantages is that users can view the prompts used to generate images and have the ability to copy or edit the text to generate more desired images. The goal behind creating this tool is to “give everyone the ability to create whatever they imagine” by developer and founder of Lexica, Sharif Shameem.
Figure5: A construction drawing of phone in DaVinci style by Lexica.
Figure6: Futuristic hologram of a street map by Lexica.
Figure7: Head filled with electronic circuitry by Lexica.
There are more areas of AI that will be explored in the future and will have an impact on UI/UX design, natural language processing and predictive analytics. Forecasting trends and analyzing statistical algorithms can be offloaded to AI systems to help designers anticipate users' needs to create more user-friendly designs. Additionally, the integration of NLP (Natural language processing) in UI/UX design will allow users to interact with the interface using a more natural language.
Lastly, one of the emerging issues with AI and its art is creator consent and copyrighted content.
When AI generates these wonderful images, it doesn't just create it out of thin air; it relies on image data with statistical correlation to each other to create these new AI-generated images. Here’s the issue: these datasets contain billions of images taken from the internet without the consent of the original creators or owners. The artist's artwork is automatically opted-in this machine learning algorithm without their knowledge. And this goes beyond images and artwork uploaded online. If you’ve ever uploaded a picture of yourself, your house, your family, cars etc. you automatically opt-in to having those images used for machine learning whether you want to or not. So that begs the question of who is the rightful owner of the AI generated image? If you type in a few words in a chatbot and it produces a piece of art based on copyrighted images, can you claim it as your own?
Despite its many advantages, we must remember that these are just tools. Tools which rely on the data being provided. If the initial data is incorrect, insufficient or partial, it will perpetuate unreliable information and could lead to poor design decisions. Blindly accepting information from chatbots could lead to the spread of misinformation. We must be careful using these tools at our disposal and not let our common sense and logical thinking go by the wayside. Also, AI is not yet capable of replicating human touch and creativity. However, it’s crucial for designers to be proactive in order to adopt new technology and develop their skills continuously. This means staying up to date with design trends and understanding how to use AI tools effectively to enhance our profession.
In a nutshell, AI and designers are not competitors but they complement each other. AI algorithms can analyze massive amounts of data, generate drafts of imaginary ideas and perform complex tasks in a limited timeline. Designers, on the other hand, bring a strong sense of design to the field, making it possible to bring imagination to life. By complementing design skills with the benefits of AI, designers can create far superior, innovative and intelligent designs.
Oh, and if you are wondering, no this blog was not written by a chatbot. :)