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Blog How to design with artificial intelligence?

How to design with artificial intelligence?

November 29, 2023
design and artificial intelligence

The relationship between design and artificial intelligence is a highly topical topic that is part of a broader debate about the influence of new technologies on the nature of creative processes.

Design and artificial intelligence

The evolution of digital media has had a great influence on contemporary artistic practices. However, the incorporation of artificial cognitive systems into creative processes is a relatively recent fact.

One of its first applications in the artistic field dates back to 2015 with DeepDream, a program created by engineer Alexander Mordvintsev that uses an artificial neural network to find and improve patterns in images. In this way, a dreamlike appearance reminiscent of a psychedelic experience is created in deliberately over-processed images.

artificial intelligence and design

Mario Klingemann. Generative images, neural glitch, 2018

It is about generating images with the technique called neural glitch. It consists of randomly introducing modifications to the architecture of an AI system so that it interprets the images (inputs) it processes in an "incorrect" way. According to Nuria Rodríguez Ortega from the Department of Art History of the University of Malaga (2020: 34),

"It is in this anomalous behavior where the creativity of the neural network lies, resulting in a series of unexpected images, with a clear surrealist evocation."

Challenges and opportunities

The debate about artificial intelligence in art and design has been mainly marked by questions related to ethical limits.

Teachers and professionals of the University School of Arts TAI have recently reflected in the magazine graphic regarding the application of this technology in the world of creativity. 

AI as a tool for thinking and creating

Coco Moya, artist, musician and teacher in the Degree in Fine Arts of TAI, states that the most interesting thing about artificial intelligence applications is their potential to generate "an unusual and surprising creativity of which a human would probably be incapable".

Therefore, it is committed to the use of machines "as a tool for thought and creation that makes us go beyond our own borders and sensitivities".

According to Moya, the debate around AI leads us to ask ourselves about the very concept of intelligence from "a diversification of perspectives". From this critical position, the intelligence-human binomial is questioned to investigate the cognitive experiences of other forms of life:

"Why couldn't we try to emulate the intelligence of a plant? Is there an AI capable of making images like a worm or a bacteria would?"

Art and graphic design 

The teacher and researcher Silvia Cuenca, who teaches classes at the Visual Arts Area de TAI, invites us to reflect beyond AI and think about the relationship between art and design, understanding the latter discipline as "a field immanent to the present."

Cuenca points out that both artistic studies and design training must provide feedback to expand the creative tools available to artists and designers:

"Focusing on the professionalization of artists and designers, both need to be up to date with each other's current affairs."

Hand tools and creative freedom

Digital Design and Multimedia Creation

For Bengoa Vázquez, art director, illustrator and set designer who has taught classes in TAI and other schools, although technology has been essential in the development of graphic design, there are many other essential tools in the creative processes.

Vázquez ensures that the most important thing in the field of design is the resolution of problems from different approaches and mechanisms, beyond computer programs:

"In a world in which we constantly have digital experiences, I consider that it can be very enriching to prioritize the use of manual tools to connect differently with our ideas and thoughts."

The artist believes that the use of classic instruments such as pencil and paper allows greater creative freedom than relying exclusively on software. Manual work stimulates experimentation, ease and the search for new possibilities in the face of the constraints of a computer program. 

However, Vázquez values ​​technology as a valuable tool, but claiming "the possibilities that manual techniques can offer even to be transformed into digital experiences".

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