A Look at the Use of AI in Product Design

The term artificial intelligence conjures a myriad of images and associations. In the minds of many, artificial intelligence is a mysterious area of technology encompassing the creation of robots and terminator style systems that populate pop culture in some often pretty sinister ways. The reality though couldn’t be further from this sci-fi inspired view.

What is Artificial Intelligence?

In essence, the term artificial intelligence refers to little more than computer systems which are sufficiently sophisticated to perform roles and undertake tasks that previously humans were required to do.

These are tasks which might involve an element of decision making or sense related perception that until recent years, computers and software could not manage.

Examples of AI Almost All of Us Have and Do Use Day to Day

An obvious and straight forward example of AI being used today is one which is relied upon by people from just about all walks of life, including police officers, and that is in translating one language into another; most of us will have called upon Google Translate at some point.

Thus, Google Translate provides an example of AI being used in everyday life in 2017 and one which has since its conception gone on to do some pretty astounding and surprising things – which you can learn about by giving the NY Times article: The Great A.I. Awakening a read.

Hence, artificial intelligence has become a relied upon technology and means of revolutionising and bettering a whole host of consumer experiences; major retailers already rely on AI to organise and manage their inventories and stock.

Meanwhile, artificial intelligence is also used in medical and security related fields in order to furnish us with better health care and keep societies safe. Further to these uses of AI is of course the myriad of ways it is used to enhance and enrich our experiences of us video gamers and in various forms of entertainment, as discussed in more depth via the Cambridge Design Technology Limited website and specifically in their article: Electronics and Software in Product Design & Development which also refers to their previous article discussing the use of virtual reality and AI in the design process.

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How is AI currently Being Utilised in the Realms of Product Design?

First and foremost, designers by nature are creators who are required to understand and consequently cater to the needs of people. This is true whether a designer is creating a new way to open jars or devising a software program to make supermarket re-stocking processes more efficient.

The problem, before the advent of AI, was that designers could only cater for the majority or work to create based on averages which do not translate always to represent the majority or even anybody, in fact – and as The Star website article: When U.S. air force discovered the flaw of averages explains rather well. Hence, AI has revolutionised the design process for the better. There is no denying that. But how?

Quite simply, AI whilst uninhibited by the pitfalls of human error is also able to anticipate and adapt to encompass human behaviours through performing numerous and ever changing equations and algorithms no human mind can manage or keep up with. This enables AI to anticipate human behaviour and needs and meet them. In turn and consequently, designers who utilise AI in their design processes are today able to produce products, services and systems which are more adaptable, fluid and applicable than ever before.

In essence, AI is being used by designers and as part of design processes across most and no doubt soon to be all areas to end the production of products and services which cater to a majority or average and instead which react and adapt to suit the individual needs, desires and whims of consumers on an individual basis.

More Information

To continue reading about the ways AI is being integrated into and revolutionising design processes as well as consumer experience in all aspects, head over to the Fast Co website where you will find and can read their feature: A Designer’s Guide to the $15 Billion Dollar Artificial Intelligence Industry.

Meanwhile, to learn more about the specific applications AI is being put to in order to achieve all of this, continue your reading and research via the Uniform Design and Innovation website and by giving their article: Designing with AI a read.


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