Towards a AI-designer partnership

Artificial intelligence advances are accelerating and thus requires us, designers to start rethinking what will be the future of our field and profession. Machine learning is one kind of artificial intelligence that has already seen applications in design. Those applications and the research in machine learning applied to design are suggesting that designers will take on new functions with more intelligent directing, overseeing and curating tasks. In addition, machine learning has the potential on taking control of the most tedious and repetitive jobs thus offering designers more time to focus on the concepts and the content of those design while improving the efficiency of the workflow. This is where creative thinking as well as creative and social intelligence will become key skills for designers. With this extra time, designers will be able to create work that is out of the norm, not codified, and beyond the cultural-clichés (easily codified).

Historically, designers have focused on creating smart objects. Now, I believe that we should focus on becoming smart designers and teaching generations of designers to become smart by specializing in work requiring human creative and social intelligence, human empathy, and creative storytelling. Those smart designers will be up-to-date with the latest technologies and processes, focus on creating content and design to solve problems, and design for the future of communications while helping to support social and cultural changes.

In this partnership we can also see a huge opportunity for designers in designing those future interactions that will happen between the designer and the machine. In addition, this new space carved out by AI efficiency, there will be room for real amplifications of designers’ creativity.

I believe it is important that the design community be involved in defining emerging AI to ensure that it will become a tool that partners with humans rather than a full autonomous machine. The only way to maintain the importance of the human designer is to embrace technology in a way that will allow us to discover new work opportunities beyond the ones being replaced.