A designer’s role in emerging AI change

A designer’s role in emerging AI change

The video is a conversation with Don Norman, Sarah Gibbons moderated by Samhita Tankala. A brief summary of the main points:

What is the role of a designer as AI and other technologies expand?

Current capabilities and limitations of AI

AI currently is a system of pattern-recognition with a bad user experience. AI is lacking world intelligence, empathy, curiosity, moral, and ethics. However, it can be used to automate tedious tasks and free disciplines to return to their basic skills. For example, AI can be trained to become as skilled as radiologists in the detection of potential tumours from x-ray images.

Designers roles with AI

It is not yet clear in which direction AI will develop and what its limitations are. So potential roles of designers may change with the ongoing development. First of all a continuous role of a designer is to help develop AI based humanity-centred needs. That includes the way we interact with AI.

Further context analyses in which AI is used becomes crucial, also how to input context in the AI.

Besides the above points AI may transform how we interact with devices. An interaction can be conversational instead of buttons, knobs, and tedious menus on interfaces from washing machines to computers. Also with AI it becomes easier to customise the interface towards the user’s needs and preferences individually (within basic set constraints).

Ways to use AI

When working with AI it should be used as intern. It can be given smaller tasks, but the responsibility to check and finalise results is yours. The output of AI should be seen as intermediate result that requires fine-tuning.

It is recommended to use AI for ideation, to shape a new research plan and to get ideas for small tasks.


What is going to stay the same in all AI driven changes?

Whereas AI shapes a lot highly required of a designer skills will still be human capabilities such as empathy and curiosity. They are expected to become even more important. Further, within all AI based transform of roles, skill-sets, and interfaces, design will still focus on improving the quality of live.

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