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Artificial Intelligence, a revolution in design

Artificial intelligence is on everyone's lips.


With the launch of projects like Dall-e 2, Mid Journey or Stable Diffusion, algorithms seem to have entered the world of art and design. Where does that leave us as product designers?

 

When AI was limited to solving highly complex operations, the term "intelligence" at the top of its name seemed a bit pretentious, far removed from the Science Fiction movies that predicted that robots would take our jobs in a dystopian future. As artists and designers, we were asleep at night in the face of this development. After all, if anything defines us as humans, it is our ability to generate art, to create culture, to represent our collective experiences and subjective appreciations in formats that the rest of us appreciate. Earlier this month, the news about the victory of an artificial intelligence in an art contest in the United States set alarm bells ringing. Robots had taken our last frontier, creativity.


Théâtre D'opéra Spatial (Obra ganadora de certamen de arte))
Théâtre D'opéra Spatial (Winning entry of the contest)

How could this happen? Doesn't creating a work like this require an artist's view of the world? Did the judges make a blunder, or is the work really good regardless of who painted it?


With more questions than answers, we at Trem venture into this world ready to understand where this technology leaves us as industrial designers.


Is artificial intelligence capable of competing with the product designer?


With our hands on the keyboard, and Stable Diffusion installed (an AI that generates images from text) we started generating "our" own product designs just by typing a few words. In a matter of minutes our folders were filled with dozens of designs that obeyed our demands. Below, we are going to show you several of them. However, to remove the prejudice from our readers' eyes, we will introduce some of them created by human product designers. Will you be able to tell which one is which?


Sillas berenjena morada diseño inteligencia artificial
Sillas cebolla amarilla diseño inteligencia artificial
Sillas huevo blanca  y amarilla diseño inteligencia artificial
Sillas zanahoria naranja diseño inteligencia artificial
Sillas verde diseño inteligencia artificial

As if that were not enough entertainment, we also encourage you to discover on what concepts we have based, mainly, to achieve each of the above designs. We will give you the answers immediately, but first, do you think you have been able to correctly identify which are the chairs designed by the AI and which by humans, or on the contrary, would the same thing happen to you as to the judges of the American contest?


The truth is, the time has come to reveal the truth: all the images we have seen are generated by AI. To stimulate its creativity, if you can call it that, we asked it to be inspired by eggplants, artichokes, eggs, carrots and cactus (in that order), so did you get it right?


Is this the recipe for our misfortune? Whatever judgment we may pass on the designs, one thing is clear: the technology is revolutionary and is certainly of interest from an occupational point of view, to say the least.


So what does this mean for Trem - is this the end of our work? The answer, for us, is more than clear: Not even close!


Our work as designers in the face of AI


As product designers our role is essential, we do many more things and our involvement goes much further. We must think about the tastes and expectations of the client, the budget, the materials and manufacturing methods, the environment, the components to be integrated, the ergonomics, the user experience, the capabilities of the suppliers, the logistics... Our job is not to visualize the client's ideas in the form of a product, it is to materialize them in a plausible project adjusted to their needs and those of the end user. And while it is true that from now on we will enjoy having one more tool for the creative process, let's say that, sometimes, it doesn't postulate the best proposals...


In addition to the images we have just shown you, AI sometimes generates designs that do not concern all the necessary aspects to be functional. We show you:


silla berenjena diseño inteligencia artificial



This eggplant chair uses tons of plastic to form a volume that looks like anything but a comfortable seat. Unless you ride it like a horse, of course. Would you sit there?








silla alcachofa inteligencia artificial




This artichoke chair needs no description. Of course, the AI has completely forgotten about the functionality of a seat.






silla huevo gris inteligencia artificial sin patas




In this case the AI seems to have forgotten that chairs generally do not fly. Perhaps egg chairs do.






silla zanahoria inteligencia artificial




This carrot chair is creepy no matter how you look at it.







silla cactus inteligencia artificial





I wouldn't sit there...








What does the future hold together with AI in design?



Perhaps one day not so far away we will be able to ask the AI to understand the requirements described above or, who knows, to provide us with the models and drawings of the parts. Let's hope for the best. For the time being, we have a large image bank. One so powerful that it is capable of joining concepts and visualizing all kinds of inventions never seen before, which is no small feat.


If someday we are conquered by robots flooding the market with products designed by artificial intelligence, let's hope they start, like everyone else, with a good chair.


robot diseñado con inteligencia artificial trem
“A product designer robot” - Stable Diffusion

 




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