Design and creativity in a future of machine learning and AI

Original article was published by Jennifer Aldrich on Artificial Intelligence on Medium


Design and creativity in a future of machine learning and AI

Creative inspiration can stem from anything in the universe. Some people are inspired by the texture of an orange peel, a shadow through a slatted window, 17th century architecture, remnants of a dream, the flecks of color in a partner’s eye — the source of material is limitless.

The design industry is massive. There are subcategories distributed across digital and physical products. Architectural design, home interior design, industrial organizational design, graphic design, interaction design, animation design, product design — the list goes on.

Every area of design, though very different, has a common thread. They all impact the person using or viewing the design on both a conscious and subconscious level. No two people experience design the same way.

They say art is in the eye of the beholder — in that case good design is in the hands of the user.

You can make the most beautiful app in the world, but if it’s not functional, it will draw feelings of anger and frustration from the person using it. You could create the most hideous app in the world, but it could draw joy out of the people whose work is being made significantly easier by it.

That said, at this point in our history, for the general populace, if something isn’t visually compelling, it will really struggle to gain a foothold in the market. Folks aren’t very forgiving when it comes to form OR function in this day and age. In the 90’s you could get away with a hideous piece of software that got the job done. Now people expect something both aesthetically pleasing and high functioning.

Looking at design from the viewpoint of people who are differently abled puts a whole new lens on our previous definition of “good design”.

I bring this up because right now every single thing we put out on the internet is being vacuumed up by AI and machine learning — aggregated and indexed and used to create and optimize systems and services that already exist now.

Beautiful, functional design is important, but making those designs accessible is equally important. Everything we build and design today will become a blue print foundation for what is created tomorrow — it’s a big responsibility, and one we shouldn’t take lightly.