I think we underestimate artificial intelligence in the creative professions. Designers are too confident about their work's uniqueness, which is being templated to confident processes and very expected results. Every year, our job becomes easier to assign to artificial intelligence.
I have my favourite exercise — to imagine a product in the future. I want to imagine a designer's job in 2040, where the designer works in partnership with artificial intelligence, and they share responsibility for the result. What might that look like?
The first ideas in the process:
Designer makes, AI helps.
Designer says, AI does.
AI does, designer chooses.
Any human designer, AI does everything.
AI does sterile, designer adds human touch.
These and other combinations depending on the ambition of the creation tools. Whichever approach seems more realistic, which tool gets more funding, will determine which idea we'll use soon.
The last idea particularly caught my eye because it is the hardest thing to imagine. What is "humanly"? If you take a completely philosophical point of view, you could state that "I'm a human, therefore I'll make a more human design than a machine." Not better, but more human. Can this phrase protect a profession that will add "strangeness" and "illogic" inherent to humans?
And perhaps this is the designer's function even now: not to copy the patterns of 40 years ago, but to look for new details of "humanity" in design. Not to follow patterned models, but to reinvent our profession every time.
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