Future of Design – AI

Future of Design – AI
4 minutes read. June 8th, 2019.

Brand Experiences

A large number of consumers will have directly experienced recent advances in AI technology in the form of online chatbots and virtual assistants. Other equally innovative solutions are also coming to the fore – Facebook, for example, has utilised AI in order to analyse content in users’ uploaded photos, enabling them to target people with more specific and relevant advertising. The realm of spoken interaction, though, is where AI is really taking off.

Voice-operated AI affords brands a chance to extend on the tone of messaging established in their visual marketing, offering another dimension to the experience of interacting with a brand. Branding is increasingly becoming based around unique, intimate experiences, and the likes of Alexa, Siri and Google Assistant offer scope for audiences and brands to develop personalised, conversational relationships with one another. Factor in ever-increasing developments in synthetic speech, and audiences will soon be experiencing natural, human-like interactions.

Alexa and Siri quote

Understanding the Customer

In addition to the formation of beautiful friendships, each individual interaction via AI can provide valuable insight as to a user’s beliefs, needs and behavioural traits. Data can be relayed back to brands for analysis, offering the chance to tweak and improve future interactions as well as further personalise experiences. Though that may sit uncomfortable with those who are protective of their privacy, it’s nonetheless impressive that AI has the potential to know us almost as well as we know ourselves.

The Future of Creativity?

As part of its Industrial Strategy Challenge, the government has outlined plans to become the world’s most innovative economy by investing heavily into a network of research and development centres in order to progress AI technology. With further progress on the horizon, there is much debate as to how AI and creativity will become intertwined.

There is already evidence of designers being able to programme AI to produce potentially infinite variations of a design based on a specific style or set of preferences. Netflix’s AI artwork system, which creates personalised, location-specific graphics, is an example of this – the designer simply needs to check (and approve, reject or adjust) the proposed designs before they are added to the system.

An AI algorithm was also used by Nutella to create bespoke packaging designs. Designers set parameters which they felt aligned with the company’s brand identity, leaving the AI system to generate 7 million completely unique jar designs which were sold throughout Italy.

As ominous as the rise of the machines sounds, it most definitely does not spell the end of the present-day designer. Rather than replace humans, the aim of AI development is to optimise the design process and act as an efficient time-saving device by eliminating long-winded or mundane elements of the design process. Through working with AI, designers can produce more effective, data-driven outcomes which retain design integrity whilst offering more unique, personalised experiences for consumers.

For all the worry about AI placing creative positions under threat, it is widely believed that we’re still some way off being able to teach machines creativity from scratch, without predefined parameters. CEO of Somatic and AI expert Jason Toy says: “Can we take what humans think is beautiful and creative and try to put that into an algorithm? I don’t think it’s going to be possible for quite a while.”

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Future of Design – AI

Paul Hough

Creative Director

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