How will design look in the age of artificial intelligence?

  • Article by

    Amie Whale

With almost nine out of ten businesses planning on investing in artificial intelligence technology by 2020 to speed up projects, where does this leave the digital design industry? Artificial intelligence (AI) is evolving at a rapid rate as more businesses start to see the value in this new technology. In fact, The Drum recently highlighted that over half of UK businesses are planning on spending £10m in digital advancements in the next two years.

To break this down a little further, 73% of the 51 organisations surveyed said they would invest in robotics. While 63% of them said in AR and VR, 62% in wearables, 54% in biometrics and 43% in blockchain.

However, despite the astonishing projections over the next two years, only a fifth of them have currently invested in AI with 77% believing it will ‘disrupt their industries’. With this in mind, will AI make the digital design industry redundant? Or can it help to improve the way our industry services businesses like yours?

How AI is impacting the design industry Tom Church of FullScream believes that AI tools like The Grid could replace a significant amount of basic web design projects, which causes an instant concern within the industry.

This advanced piece of digital technology allows business owners to upload a photograph which best depicts their brand and ultimately uses algorithms to create a website. The Grid instantly removes the decision process, which is ideal for those who don’t know what they want their website to look like.

However, this instant solution completely removes the handmade and personal element involved in the creative process. Artificial intelligence doesn’t have the capacity to offer a level of customer service and deliver a niche requirement to suit particular individuals.

Despite this factor, lingerie retailer Cosabella recently replaced their digital agency with a custom built AI platform named “Albert”. As a result, they tripled their return on investment and saw a 30% increase in new customers. This system was able to run an extensive analysis of the performance of campaigns, finding that Cosabella achieved 50% better results when they used images of people.

Their decision to resort to AI was largely down to the digital agencies lack of speed and level of results. You see, while artificial intelligence has no concept of true consciousness, computers are able to make more informed decisions.

The reality is that a talented and accomplished designer may be able to create 10-25 projects a month, but a computer can complete thousands, as it’s only restricted by its power. And when you apply Moore’s Law, the number of completed projects will continue to double every year as technology advances.

But will the ability to produce excessive amounts of projects in a short period of time lead to an abundance of job cuts in the design industry? I’m not so sure.

Why AI and digital design can work together to improve your experience As mentioned previously, most businesses will want to have some sort of input into the decision process – whether it’s a colour tweak to a logo or the format of a website.

Artificial intelligence carries out analysis based on previous consumer habits, but does it account for our complexities? For instance, while you may fancy a chicken sandwich for lunch in the morning, you could suddenly change my mind and opt for tuna mayonnaise when the clock strikes twelve. Our point is, humans are far more complicated than numbers and algorithms.

However, to discard the need for artificial intelligence within the digital design world would be a major mistake. After all, there is a reason why businesses are heavily investing in it with Cosabella being a prime example.

Adobe Sensei Adobe Sensei has the potential to bridge the gap between digital designers and artificial intelligence. This tool will give businesses and creatives a holistic view on what kind of images and designs will work the best via complex consumer analysis.

Although any form of AI can’t guarantee a perfect response off the back of the analysis, it does give designers an added knowledge to go off and ways to cut out mundane tasks. This should reduce the need for constant amends and enable digital designers to focus their time on finding new opportunities in the marketplace. Some of Adobe Sensei’s best features include:

Face-aware liquify – this helps detect facial features so you can tweak an expression or perspective without distorting the image.

Visual stock search – you can find the right image for your project more quickly by filtering your criteria to include depth of field and vivid colour.

Morph cut – you can create smoother and cleaner videos by using Adobe Sensei’s fast-tracking and optical flow interpolation tools.

While some believe AI could spell the end of designers, I believe it’s just the beginning. By having the access to advanced AI analysis and reporting, digital designers can use their time more effectively to execute the finer elements of a project. It’s just a matter of adapting and utilising this technology.

In turn, businesses like yours will receive a quicker turnaround on projects, better results through extensive artificial research, and unique quality finishes only a creative human could create. AI offers results instead of opinions and will give our industry the power to make smarter decisions for you.

What are your thoughts on artificial intelligence? Drop us a line at 0121 389 3033 and let us know.

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