Design & AI: ChatGPT-4 as a creative helper?

The incredible potential and relevance of artificial intelligence in the creative workplace.
April 5, 2023
5 min

Over the years, I have learned a lot as a designer and website developer. Nevertheless, I simply reach my limits with my knowledge as a “programmer”. I have been following the development of artificial intelligence for the last few years. Since 2022, various new opportunities have opened up to test and use the latest publicly available intelligent algorithms.

Many AI models and companies are making good progress, for example OpenAI with their GPT-4. Among other things, ChatGPT can now also be a great help in various programming languages. I was able to program 2 interactive HTML5 applications in a short time.

The whole thing has moved me to summarise my view on this topic of “design & AI”:

Be aware of the limitations of AI

I have often used AIs to help me formulate content. However, despite the precision, the generated texts or images often lack personality or understanding. A good example is the complexity of hands or fingers, as the following collage shows:

Images of (bad) hands created by artificial intelligence.

They do not (yet) “understand” the concept and functions of a hand. In the example of the images above, the algorithms are “only” trained to create an image that “looks like” a tree, a statue or a skyscraper. However, in the example of hands, it is not enough to look approximately “like” a hand.

With more training and feedback, these problems will disappear. The systems are designed to create things that appeal to us humans.

The technology is here, and it’s not going away.

There is probably no turning back: intelligent artificial systems are currently conquering the world. It is now abundantly clear that sooner or later they will have a lasting impact on all aspects of our daily lives. To many people, it may seem like AI-driven software solutions have instantly become widely available for everyone. However, as a digital designer myself, I’ve been awaiting for this next step for some time.

A Man holding A Post-it with A.I. written on it
Photo by Hitesh Choudhary on Unsplash

Digitalisation and creative professions

Professional designers are used to working and designing in a goal-oriented way. Creative fields such as design, typography & graphics, photography, and music etc. are among the first completely digitalised professions ever. As an example, digital image processing has completely digitalised the entire occupational field since the 80s /early 90s at the latest — supported by the mass production of media.

Younger generations have a more direct connection to the digital world. Not to mention the new digital occupational springs like web and front-end development: software developers from all industries work hand in hand with creative providers today.

When I started my professional education in 2010 and started working in 2013, my profession “graphic designer” had long been digital and creative software, such as Photoshop, had been established for almost 20 years.
Photo by Faizur Rehman on Unsplash

Like any tool, digital tools get me to my goal more efficiently.

For me, digital innovations and updates are not a burden. They are — in the sense of my profession — the further development of creative, conceptual and technical possibilities. I welcome every new tool that makes it easier for me to conceive and implement my ideas. With their help, I save an enormous amount of time and nerves without negatively affecting my vision or the final result.

For many designers, the use of digital tools is nothing new.

Designers cry out — efficient solutions are needed

We need to create new, innovative ideas of all kinds quickly — often at the touch of a button. But; creative processes can become very labour-intensive and take up a lot of time. As we all know, the devil is in the detail.

Especially when we work in a home office or act as a one-(wo)man-show, for example, we lack the opportunity to be inspired by external inputs in between. And no one has time to conduct daily workshops to generate new ideas while everything else stagnates.

Intelligent systems like ChatGPT could completely turn the way we create solutions on its head.

Why we should use AI as a creative assistant

Photo by Jonathan Kemper on Unsplash

ChatGPT not only gives me new ideas faster, but also real solutions.

It helps me by providing different inputs and perspectives — similar to workshops or an exchange with a work colleague. It makes my personal creative process a lot more interactive and gets me coming up with original ideas more efficiently.

The use of these digital tools further expands our creative freedom.
Photo by Tim Marshall on Unsplash

Nothing works without us humans

AI — as we know it today — seems intelligent. But we are still very far away from intuition or sincere, humane creativity.

I, as a human being, on the other hand, can rely on my life experience. When I come up against creative blockades, I know many methods to inspire myself new. Above all: start differently and think new. I know that if I find a few suitable inputs or can create them myself, I quickly come up with new solutions. And this is where ChatGPT comes into play.

My experience, combined with the content of GPT (and also the right questions), keep my creative flow going. I can formulate what I have in mind in my own language, and I get potential approaches until I am inspired. And that usually doesn’t take very long.

As a designer, working with AI is a logical conclusion. It makes our work a lot easier. The creative process — used correctly — can take place in a very natural, humane way.
… And I can keep focussing on working on what I can do best.

Also this innovation has its downside

Photo by Taylor Friehl on Unsplash

We should deal responsibly with AI, be open to new ideas, be inspired and, above all, remain critical. The information we provide to these systems is on the internet, and this information is not necessarily representative or correct.

In order to promote AI in a meaningful way and to use the influence of private actors better than in the digital development to date — which is close to a disaster — all countries need to work together.

GPT-4 shows us the potential of unlimited possibilities for inspiration, solutions, innovation and efficiency. And as with any powerful innovation, we need to manage it responsibly. We should not only talk about and discuss the risks, but also act preventively.

What fascinates me most

ChatGPT can translate. And that is everything into other languages as well as programming languages. It is an interpreter and a new interaction possibility as an interface between the digital and real world. All we have to do is provide the idea and the rules, and the AI generates possible ways of thinking and suggesting solutions, which we can develop further.

The possibilities that through collaboration with artificial intelligence are immense. I can’t wait to further optimise my creative processes with the help of intelligent systems.

If we are willing to be inspired above all else, AI will help us work more efficiently. This will relieve many designers and also inspire them creatively. At the very least, it does it for me. ☺️

I hope I have been able to inspire others to explore the possibilities of using AI themselves. — But please, no copy-paste!We don’t want to become brainless! 💚

I will never send more than one email per month, I promise!

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