AI and Design

AI doesn’t need to be as good as the best designer. There are plenty of people in the bottom 50th percentile to snack on.

Someone shouldn’t have to be exceptional in their field to have stability; but sadly, I expect the job pool for early-career designers, production designers, and others to continue getting tighter.

A grim, but realistic outlook on the whole AI and design situation we’re facing. 

Over the last year we’ve seen AI take over technology and media by storm. It’s the number one topic that startups are discussing. Any discussions of crypto have long been shuttered. 

I’ve been wrestling with the news from Config last month, and trying to find peace with it all. As Myke Hurley and Federico opined on Connected, I think people who are more advanced in their careers; or have a built-in audience, will be ok with the rapid transition of AI eating the world. 

But that doesn’t help the rest of us, the new entrants, the career transitioners looking to get into creative fields like design. 

What happens if the bottom 50% of designers; the juniors, have nothing available for them to get started? My first few years of design were not great, but I had fantastic taste and continued to chase it until my abilities started to catch up. 

If you’re a tech optimist, you see the march of technology as a good thing. Sure, jobs are lost, but new things are created and new opportunities are unearthed; ready to be siezed by anyone open. 

But, so many get lost along the way. Is that worth it? 

The blank canvas is intimidating for sure; but it’s also an opportunity to consider what you are about to make, where you should start, and what belongs on the canvas at all. To skip ahead to decisions in reaction to an AI’s output is to sacrifice all of the possible insights, ideas, and small decisions the process of “getting started” engenders.

The struggle of designing is, for many, the joy of designing. I love to sketch through ideas, to wrestle with a blank page, to look at dozens of great designs from others and conjur my own into being through lines on a page. I don’t want to give this up to AI, I want to keep doing this on my own. I have to wonder if that will become a relic. 

(Via Jovo)