How AI is Impacting Digital Design
AI art & design tools are here, and they’re here to stay. We’re here to discuss the pros, the cons, getting the most out of these tools and whether or not we should fear them replacing designers. Let’s look at some ways that AI image generation tools can aid your creative process.
AI generated art tools have seen a boom in popularity recently. We’ve had an in depth look and will be focusing on Midjourney for the examples in this blog.
How does it work?
The way that Midjourney and other AI art techs work is quite simple. You type a prompt to generate things that you would like to see in your image.
We used the prompt /imagine close up of a woman with her eyes closed, octane render, neon pink and cyan –no DOF –testp –ar 2:3 –s 5000 –upbeta to generate this image.
You can even define aspect ratio, depth of field and a stylise prompt, the higher you set the stylise parameter, the more abstract the results tend to be.
A full list of available parameters can be found in Midjourney’s User Manual
Is AI replacing designers?
AI design is still only in its infancy and so it is too early to entirely understand the capabilities of such technology and if it will eventually replace human designers.
There are countless up and coming AI developers out there right now and there is huge uncertainty among designers as to whether or not AI driven programs can replace a human. The popularity these programs are gaining across a vast number of industries which can be alarming for some and this is why many designers are fearful of being replaced.
Taking a closer look at key design requirements, it begins to become apparent after spending a short period of time using a program like Midjourney that you begin to notice problems, these problems however can be easily fixed with a little help from a human designer.
The key to using AI technologies efficiently and effectively is to not rely on it completely but to add it to your arsenal of design tools.
The current iterations of AI design technologies are more of an assistant rather than a replacement. AI cannot currently complete design tasks to the same standard as humans can.
The AI lacks the understanding of a designer but is a powerhouse at gathering certain information which can speed up the design processes if used in the correct manner, which the programs are currently most effective.
Right now the answer to the question: Is AI replacing designers and artists? The answer is No, however, the real question is: Will AI replace designers and artists?
Supplementing part of the design process with AI
The advantages of using an AI design tool can be numerous, it can provide somewhat abstracted versions of your current design which may stimulate new ideas, or you could use the AI to assist in arranging your pieces into the finished design. A design can be treated much like a jigsaw puzzle, taking every piece to fit together whilst also conveying the finished product in the right way.
Time is precious and AI can prove to be useful for following automated work methods which will save designers countless hours from not having to do repetitive tasks and can focus on more important aspects of the design process.
The automation could cover things such as scaling content, cropping images, generating captions for images or assisting in specific areas or features which must be kept in images, It is possible for AI tools to assist with these areas in order to save you valuable time and let you produce a larger quantity of work.
One of the large benefits of using AI generated art is that it gives you multiple variations per prompt. This serves to stimulate creativity. Often times a variation will give you a different spin on the idea you had in your mind, assisting you in coming up with ideas that you would not have come up with on your own.
/imagine a rainstorm in the jungle::1, heavy ominous clouds, vivid green, realistic, unreal engine 5, –ar 16:9 –no DOF –s 30000
Although these technologies seem like something from a far distant future, they are here and they are readily accessible. Midjourney has a free trial which allows you to create around 20 images while the next tier starts at $10 and allows you to create up to 200 images. They also offer a tier for $30 which allows you to come up with unlimited creations.
The main limitation of these tools is that they don’t really give you what you want or expect. While they are fantastic tools and should be considered for concept art and stimulating creativity, if you are expecting them to read your mind and come up with production ready designs you will ultimately be disappointed. Here’s a example of a simple prompt of dolphins swimming.
As you can see, this prompt gave us a result that we were not imagining or expecting. This example shows how unpredictable and limited these tools can be.
What does this mean for AI tools in Digital Design?
As humans we are highly inventive creatures and our intellect has carried us from a primitive race to an extremely advanced one by our earthly standards, it’s only a matter of time before someone purposely or accidentally creates a system with capabilities beyond human intelligence, it could be decades or even centuries from now or it could be next week.
However, while AI tools are increasing in popularity, they are a long way from outright replacing designers. In fact, these tools should serve to help designers work smarter and faster.
The singularity is the hypothetical future creation of superintelligent machines. When technological growth becomes uncontrollable and irreversible, resulting in unforeseeable changes to human civilisation coinciding with the time when the abilities of a computer overtake the abilities of a designers brain.
While this is a lot to take on board, it does give designers some 20+ years breathing space.
If you are interested, here’s a small selection of results that we got while researching Midjourney. We had a lot of fun with it and have already added it to our design mix.