Robert Peart describes a future where AI has replaced the designer role as we know it today. No longer will we be designing for the problems, but instead be the ones to define the problem and apply the goals and constants for AI to reach the desired outcome. Patrick Hebron further explains AI’s ability to come up with a variety of unique solutions to approaches and assist us intellectually. AI has the promise to advance our society and work harmoniously with us to create new and better solutions. Yet with these advances, our design jobs are clearly not the only jobs at stake. As this technology enters the mainstream, how do we predict it will impact the job market as a whole?
Let’s compare this to a similar situation happening right now with the coal industry and the renewable energy sector. There is a tension between adopting the new sustainable technology and the skilled labor jobs that it will replace. With blue-collar Americans being the ones to suffer most, the government has tried to preserve old ways of working in order to keep power and votes. So my question is this: do we think a similar scenario will play out with the implementation of AI technology? How can we prepare for the inevitable, worker displacement, in the face of progress?
The solution to this issue seems to lie somewhere in the ability to access these tools and the knowledge to work with the technology. In Janelle Shane and Helena Sarin’s work with AI technology, we see how two artists/creators seek ways to manipulate and think about the technology that makes it less precious. Their role in opening up AI to the public through written word and art is one way we can start to see how this technology might become more broadly understood. Art is one strategy we can use to cross the socio-economic barriers around technology. What are other strategies we can implement to make technology more just and equitable?