What technology will architects replace
Is Artificial Intelligence Creative?
Is any professional branch spared from the influence of artificial intelligence? Day after day we are confronted with reports describing how intelligent systems and algorithms will replace process work and low-skilled positions, be it taxi or truck drivers, accountants or office workers. We tend to argue that so-called "creative" jobs in design and art will always require human input. After all, computers can't be creative - can they? What does it mean to be creative?
If you look for definitions of creativity, you can see that these have evolved over the centuries. Up until the Renaissance, the power of creation was something reserved for the gods. When Plato is asked in »The Republic«: »Will we say of a painter that he creates something?« He replies: »Certainly not, he only imitates.« It took until the 20th century for creativity to also take place outside of it the art was accepted. Most today view creativity as the act of discovering and acting outside of familiar ideas and thought structures; something that is also possible in work life and in the design studio. When it comes to AI, many skeptics take Plato's position and argue that computers only do what they were programmed to do and cannot create anything of their own. This point of view is being questioned more and more, because AIs have long been painting pictures, writing novels and developing products - often just as well or even better than humans. The technology is still in its infancy - who can predict whether it won't completely replace us at some point? Create desirability and cultural relevance
When developing products, when it comes to evaluating whether an idea or design will be successful and profitable, we often talk about feasibility, feasibility, and desirability. Feasibility and feasibility should be viewed in black and white with considerations about material selection, manufacturing techniques and profit margins. Where it usually gets a little more complicated is the subject of desirability. A topic that is logically hardly predictable or calculable. Desirability depends on myriad cultural trends, all of which are happening at the same time and are constantly evolving. I would therefore argue that understanding cultural relevance and achieving desirability in people is something that often requires human input; without it, the chances that users will adopt the product will be rather slim. In other words, a computer may be able to write a novel, but if no one reads it, the work will not affect human culture. Man and machine
Creating cultural relevance and desirability is complex. This means that in all likelihood, humans will always be involved in the design process, but side by side with AI that accompanies the creative process. (Of course, this does not apply to parallel cultures in which machines could create something for themselves and without human intervention or even knowledge). In one scenario, the technology could be used to provide verbal, visual, or other stimuli to help advance ideas or subconsciously steer our thinking in a new direction. There is a concept in communication theory known as "Expectancy Violations Theory". In its positive form, it could lead us to look at problems from a different angle or even to understand them better. Intelligent technology could also allow us to document processes more effectively and to relate them to one another, beyond teams, organizations or entire industries, in order to better understand and develop other approaches and ways of thinking. Let's imagine an AI system working continuously in the background to connect parallel projects and ideas in a way that would never be possible manually. We would be able to learn faster and more comprehensively from mistakes and successes and thereby accelerate the evolution of ideas and innovation. Rather than perceiving AI as a threat to designers, we should focus on the opportunities and see the ways in which it can help us do things better and simplify work processes. The role of the designer will evolve and new roles will be created; many of them we cannot even imagine today. But this change will come step by step and people will be an integral part of it.
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