After reading Holmquist’s cover story, here is what I envisioned for AI as a new design material:
Imagine a graphic designer opening his or her virtual workspace (some suite of software tools). When picking a particular color for a design, (s)he immediately sees real-time statistics from a backend AI solution. This AI solution is parsing data from all over the world to provide information such as the popularity of this color amongst customers, examples of how this color has been used by other designers, and even suggestions for making the overall design better. When the designer is fatigued or hits a “designer’s block,” the AI solution can even provide a versatile set of building blocks (designs and colors) to get the designer started. When the designer is inspired and doesn’t need any help, the AI solution can be de-activated quickly without hassle. In its entirety, using this AI solution would be as natural as visit a website on the internet today.
Overall, this reading covers a lot of important points in a few short pages. The first important point is that Tech giants have accumulated tremendous amounts of digital data, and these data repositories continue to grow. The second important point is that in the near future AI will transform into a digital service that is commonplace, easy to understand, and ingrained in our daily lives. The third important point which I interpret more as a warning is that the decisions made by AI are difficult to understand because it is a “black box” technology that evolves in real-time.
In terms of Design Thinking, how do these three important points connect? Simply put, AI will completely transform how designers work. Whether this transformation is good or bad depends entirely on the rules we create as a society for the use of AI.