19 January 23 -

Super8: Eight intriguing articles from January.

New beginnings. Positive change. A moment to embrace transformation, as the first golden rays of an exciting new dawn begin to peep over the horizon.

Nope, we’re not describing the typical sentiment of January, nor New Year’s resolutions. We’re talking about the emergence of artificial intelligence. So, is it an exciting opportunity? Or complete annihilation of the human experience as we know it? Rise—or ruse—of the machines? Did our curator for this month, Elliott Grigg, create these write ups himself? Or enlist a sentient bot to write them for him? You be the judge; it’s Super8 in January.

1. AI Web Design: ChatGPT and Midjourney changes EVERYTHING.

Let’s start with some basics. Midjourney is a prompt-based AI technology that generates images via a Discord channel. Think of it like an interface designer and digital artist, all in one. ChatGPT is an advanced chatbot created by OpenAI. Think of it like a copywriter or content producer. Now, pause and take a deep breath; especially if you’re a designer or copywriter. While the headline does ring true, we’re certainly not at the point where human craft is made redundant. Rather, these technologies could make life easier for content and design teams by offering improved efficiencies for conceptual grunt work and eliminating ‘blank page anxiety’.

2. How to use ChatGPT in product design: 8 practical examples.

Now, let’s get into more practical detail.  In this piece, Nick Babich highlights specific opportunities for product designers to use ChatGPT. Are you writing the bare bones of a product brief? Hoping for help with design ideation or inspiration for visual imagery? Looking to banish lorem ipsum and quickly develop proto content? Writing small snippets of code for minor on-page elements, like WebGL-based objects? ChatGPT could be the answer.

3. AI prompt design principles.

As with many technologies, some AI tools are only as effective as the prompts they’re supplied. Advertising luminary David Ogilvy once famously said: ‘give me the freedom of a tight brief’. This truism applies for everything from ChatGPT, DALL-E 2 and Midjourney to Google—the better your input, the higher the likelihood of a tailored and relevant output. Here, Graeme Fulton outlines six helpful principles to write prompts that deliver high quality results. So, what does it mean to ‘provide familiar context’, ‘be transparent’, ‘emphasise ethical use’, or ‘steer with suggestions’? Read on to find out.

4. It’s time to teach AI how to be forgetful.

Sure, it seems we can learn and gain an enormous amount from AI. But is the reverse equally true? Is there any value in AI emulating the human brain, with all its quirks and idiosyncrasies? According to Gerd Gigerenzer, absolutely yes. AI and machine learning technologies thrive when applied to stable, well-defined and predictable situations. When those conditions are absent however—and instability reigns supreme—AI struggles where the human brain does not. In these instances, Gerd predicts that simply forgetting irrelevant information will help AI improve algorithmic accuracy. Find out why.

5. AI markets for lemons and the great logging off.

At this point, the one certainty about AI is that there is enormous potential; whether it manifests positively or negatively remains to be seen. In this piece, Lars Doucet—who self-identifies as both a techno-optimist and neo-luddite—looks at two potential, admittedly more ominous, scenarios. Firstly, the ‘market for lemons.’ In this scenario, the internet becomes clogged with piles of semi-intelligent spam, breaking the default assumption that the ‘person’ you are talking to is human. This results in the second scenario, the ‘great logging off’. What does that entail? You’ll have to read on to find out; it’s not exactly what you might think, based on the title alone.

6. Age of the machines: do algorithms spell doom for humanity?

Perhaps this quote says it best: ‘after 125 years of the reign of all the news that’s fit to print, we’re now entering the era of all the news that’s dynamically generated and personalised by machines to achieve business objectives’. While that may sound like a utopia for some, the situation becomes infinitely more complex when algorithms prioritise business objectives while completely disregarding ethical practice. With insights into how Facebook’s ‘groups’ foster extremism, the way algorithms compromise democracy in the quest for ever-more eyeballs on content, and more, this piece highlights some of the sinister consequences of artificial intelligence. And importantly, practical steps we can take to collectively mitigate them.

7. Navigating the AI revolution: how designers can stay competitive.

Remember at the start of this piece, I encouraged any designers to pause and take a deep breath? Ok, gradually exhale, collect your thoughts, and let this piece by Irina Nik assuage your concerns. The article does exactly what it says on the label, offering a practical perspective of the—still-crucial—role for humans in facilitating AI-assisted design. Irina suggests that AI will become invaluable in improving efficiencies: ‘taking all the pixel-pushing jobs means designers have more resources to focus on higher-level issues, such as research, product strategy, growth, etc’. As an industry, we talk about human-centered design process; how ironic that AI may enhance our ability to focus on exactly that.

8. 20 entertaining uses of ChatGPT you never knew were possible.

AI comes with some serious implications. Serious ethical considerations. Serious legal considerations. Serious considerations for artistry and the concept of creative process. But while we navigate these serious and complicated ramifications, there’s still plenty of time for fun in the meantime. While ChatGPT could completely revolutionise several entire professional sectors, it can also be used for lighthearted entertainment. Check out this piece to learn how ChatGPT can create games, write novels, develop fitness plans, identify prospective podcast guests, provide gift ideas, and much, much more.