AI and UX are inextricably entwined in today’s world where we’re now facing a turning point in the new era of design. They both affect and inform how the other works, however some people think AI will eventually replace designers and the need for human-driven UX. “The end is near”, according to those specialists in artificial intelligence and robotics.
One typical example is a TEDx talk of Futurist Thomas Frey, saying that over 2 billion jobs will disappear by 2030, and robots will probably take over a portion of jobs which are now occupied by humans. Looking back to 2017, we can find that AI has been widely applied in various fields, like Uber’s self-driving car, Chatbots of customer representatives, Amazon’s delivery drones – the revolution of robotic is just getting started.
Will the rise of AI replace the work of designers, are we in trouble? How will AI impact the design field, designer’s career as well as design tools in the future?
Well, I guess some designers will be in trouble – the ones who never understood human-centeredness. Design is more than pretty screens. If you understand design as the process of shaping technical artifacts based on a deep understanding of human needs, there’s no need to worry. Mind that those needs are not only about an individual user but also about the social systems they live and work in, their beliefs and values, mutually intertwined interests, the whole ISO “context of use” thing. AI can help a lot to collect, cleanse, and aggregate data about that, but eventually understanding those data will require humans.
Here’s another perspective on this: if you look beyond the user interface, you’ll realize that what we eventually design is never just a user- or “human-machine” interface. What we actually design is human-human interfaces, focusing on the technology that mediates them. AI can support but not replace this process.
What’s really interesting about this AI debate is that it makes us focus, and hopefully eventually understand the deeply human side of our profession.
So, Cherry, big thanks for this post, and for kicking off this discussion!
Hi. Bernard! Thanks for your kindness reply first! I totally agree with you on that “AI can support but not replace this process.” But we also have to admit that AI effects UI/UX design.Thanks for express your idea here! 🙂
I am somewhat inclined as to what Bernard just said. It’s true that some of the designers would be in some serious trouble because we all know at what pace a well structured self learning AI can work, given the network is optimum. But on the other end of this spectrum I am a bit skeptical about the fact as till how long would we be able to keep that “human” factor inside the loop.
Because if you look at it… till a couple of decades ago things like completely automated factories weren’t really taken into consideration, with the firm belief that the human factor would be always necessary part of the loop, but it gradually got phased out. So, I don’t really want to sound pessimistic but I think UI/UX designing could see something similar, maybe not now or in the near future but it’s something that I don’t think can be entirely overlooked.
Just a beginner here, so pardon me if I got it wrong though.
Looks like Alan Cooper also has a clear opinion on this: https://twitter.com/mralancooper/status/969064185731612672?s=11
Where he’s right: there is a market for bad design. Let’s serve the other one.
Alan Cooper is a terrific tweeter to follow! I really enjoy reading his feed. I do not, however, think that AI is going to replace designers any time soon. It is also a long way off from replacing developers! https://stxnext.com/blog/2017/11/08/will-artificial-intelligence-replace-developers/
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