Will Artificial Intelligence Replace Designers?
Lucien Ng's "Artificium" explores the future of automated design
“The automation of labour is inevitable,” says New York designer Lucien Ng. “Before the end of this century, 70% of today’s occupations will likely be replaced by automation.” With that sobering thought in mind, Ng created “Artificium”, a project that posits a world where it has already happened.
The short video presents as an advertisement for the artificial intelligence designer Artificium, promising to improve corporate profits by removing humans from the design process. “Because designers cost time and money,” the ad states, “The elimination of the designer…can bring good to the world.”
Despite the robotic tone and frightening message of the ad, Lucien Ng promises that the goal is “not to paint a dystopian future of design,” but “instead create awareness around design and art education.” He believes that unless art schools teach designers to consider the ways in which their work impacts society, they might just as well be turning out automatons. “This project speculates a plausible future of the design industry,” Ng says, “where designers are replaced by Artificial Intelligent machines that are able to reference and break down designs…to create new designs to meet the insatiable demands of the fast paced commercial industry.”
The Artificium video ends with the message, “Let’s redesign the future together.” This could be seen as either an ominous hint of things to come…or a plea to the schools and students of the present day. Unless thought is given to the state of design right now, Ng seems to say, what might the future hold? “How can we move beyond the surface,” he says, “and create more meaningful and lasting forms of communication?”
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