I’ve Seen This Movie Before – Why AI is Reminiscent of the Digital Design Revolution

Graphic Design in the analog days

This week saw the release of the “next big thing” with social networks. But there are people far more qualified than me (like Jay Clouse) to write about this, so check them out.

This week I wanted to dig into why I’m actively talking about the impact AI will have on designers. It’s because I’ve seen this movie before.

When I first started studying design, it was just as desktop publishing was gaining steam. Photoshop had just added layers and we were on the eve of the PDF. I still clearly remember our teacher explaining what a “portable digital file” was. He was very excited about this technology.

But not everyone was excited about digital and its impact on graphic design. Some people fought the digital wave and thought the old way was the only way to go. For a while I was one of these people. I had come from an illustration background, so I preferred doing things by hand. But eventually the ease of digital won me over.

I tell you this because I’ve seen the movie where a new technology comes around, the protagonist fights it, and the technology doesn’t care and wins at the end.

AI is going to have a similar impact on design.

I dig into it a bit more in my most recent blog post.

News at the Intersection of AI and Design

IBM’s Global Chief Design Officer on Generative AI and Creativity

IBM’s Global Chief Design Officer, Billy Seabrook, discusses the transformative potential of generative AI in the creative process, emphasizing its ability to create new opportunities and challenges for designers and other roles in the marketing industry.

  • Seabrook highlights the risk of creative burnout due to the rapid pace of work enabled by generative AI, and the need to find a balance between human creativity and AI efficiency.
  • He also discusses the potential for creative homogeneity if everyone uses the same AI models, and suggests that the differentiation will come from how brands mix and customize models to create original work.

Keep reading

Northeastern Professor Wins Prestigious Award for Her Work on the Ethics of Artificial Intelligence

Professor Tina Eliassi-Rad, a computer science professor at Northeastern, has been awarded the esteemed Lagrange Prize-CRT Foundation for her significant contributions to the field of artificial intelligence ethics and complex systems.

  • Eliassi-Rad’s work focuses on the profound influence of AI algorithms on people’s lives, raising critical questions about their impact and responsibility in our daily lives.
  • She has notably developed practical applications in the fight against fraud and cybercrime, the search for new therapeutic treatments, and the study of democratic backsliding as instability in socioeconomic and political systems.

Keep reading

Training ChatGPT Required Enough Water to Fill a Nuclear Cooling Tower

Training OpenAI’s ChatGPT, a large language model, consumed an estimated 185,000 gallons of water, equivalent to the amount needed to fill a nuclear reactor’s cooling tower, according to a new study.

  • The study highlights the environmental impact of AI training, with each average user’s interaction with ChatGPT equating to the wastage of a large bottle of fresh water.
  • The researchers warn that the water requirements for AI models will likely increase with newer models, and call for greater transparency from AI developers and data center operators regarding their water usage.

Keep reading

New Resources for you

One thing that will help you avoid the cuts that generative AI may induce is to make sure you’re sharing your unique value.

In this post, I recap some of the best comments from my article that went semi-viral last weekend. Some of these got me thinking and I’m sure I’ll expand on them in the future.

How can I help you?

If you want to learn more about what’s available, here are some links:

Thanks for reading!


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Jim MacLeod

Jim MacLeod

Jim MacLeod was a graphic designer for more than a decade before pivoting to adjacent areas of focus such as marketing, digital experience, and branding. Knowing that AI is going to displace many graphic designers, Jim set up After Design to help designers prepare for this impending change. 

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