The film industry has been using the idea of sentient computers for many years, most notably HAL 9000, the computer from the 1968 blockbuster success 2001: A Space Odyssey.
The idea of computers that could actually think for themselves has been a little worrying for the majority of us, but this is quickly becoming a reality. This is a new era and Artificial Intelligence (AI) is here to stay, but don’t worry there’s no killer robots in sight (yet). The technological advances of the 21st century have instead left us with a new set of fears: losing our jobs to computers and robots.
AI is already featuring prominently in many sectors, particularly in low skilled work and especially in jobs that are repetitive. This will only increase as any job that can be automated will be. In this regard, the design industry has an advantage. However, it is certainly not immune to the advancements of AI. In fact, AI is already capable of producing works of art. Granted they have a long way to go, but the rate of development is astonishing, and it is simply a matter of time until the best artist in the world is a robot
The design industry is also seeing the demise of web design due to the large amount of low-cost online website builders. You may be familiar with The Grid, a website development and design system, which launched in 2016 (after two years in beta). Their AI bot, which is called Molly, has already designed “over 200,000 websites” according to Jeff Woods, The Grid’s Community Evangelise.
Online website builders similar to The Grid use templates and other interactive patterns to design themselves, without the need of a designer. Systems like these can be great for some but not for others. Read our blog to find out more > https://www.moirae.co.uk/blog/what-value-do-you-get-from-a-website-builder/
However, there’s even more impressive tools such as Autodesk Dreamcatcher, which allows the user to quickly generate high-performing design alternatives. But, in most other cases the design industry appears to be at a relatively low risk of AI taking over completely but instead work hand in hand, as AI will enable designers to create forms that would be impossible for a lone human to construct in a fraction of the time.
Designers are also expected to not only have creative skills but also social skills; including empathy and negotiation. While technological advancements are proceeding at an incredible rate, Artificial Intelligence will take years to master the complex matrix of evolutionary development.
In conclusion, all jobs will likely be taken over by AI and robots at some point but thanks to its inherent creativity the design industry will probably be one of the last to go. Computers are exceptional at mathematics and logical thinking, but design requires an ability to use many different senses at once in order to interpret human emotion and convey a particular message or meaning.
When you think about it it’s quite funny; the skills that we find extremely difficult, like complex equations, robots find easy yet the skills that we take for granted, like walking, robots find extremely difficult. Creative and social skills are a real challenge to robots and will probably take them a long time to master so for the time being at least, our jobs in the design industry are safe.