Could your website design itself?

AI robot clicking network computer
2 minutes read / Web design

With the topic of artificial intelligence constantly in the public eye, it’s no wonder that every developer and their dog are having a pop at making the next biggest advancement.

Many of us agreed that new technological advancements would replace a lot of blue collar work, such as fast food workers and large scale production, but we can see that there is a possibility that AI will also replace many white collar jobs, which many of us thought were ‘safe’. However, with the majority of AI being quite limited, and still being unable to replicate the all-round service that we have come to expect from our fellow humans, should we be concerned?

Adobe Autonomous Web Design

Adobe, one of the world’s leading software specialists, has revealed that they are developing a tool that can be used to automate a designer’s tasks, such as cropping photos. It can also design web pages by using machine learning and image recognition. This software will be mainly targeted to large enterprises, and is designed to lessen the amount of design work that developers have to do by recommending many design aspects, such as layout, colours, photos and photo sizes.

By utilising image recognition techniques, basic photo editing techniques such as cropping can be completed. The system uses photos already in the user’s database (along with the metadata) and makes recommendations on elements to include, as well as some customisations that the designer could consider.

The Grid

The Grid wanted AI to be able to design your site for you, thanks to an AI named ‘Molly’. According to Wired: “She’s quirky, but will never ghost you, never charge more, never miss a deadline, never cower to your demands for a bigger logo…Molly can apply a simple five-color palette to your site in more than 200,000 unique ways.”

The Grid is one of the first to claim that their AI is capable of making “websites that can design themselves”. They launched their crowdfunding campaign back in 2014, where they were asking ‘founding members’ for $96. As the promotional videos circulated on the internet, The Grid gained more and more supporters.

Many were excited for the release, and believed that this would be the technology that revolutionised web design. However after a successful crowdfunding campaign, it took them years to deliver the promised product – and the reviews have been mixed, to put it lightly.

The Grid’s ‘Molly’ was indeed an AI breakthrough, but many believe that it still leaves something to be desired. Her role in the most part is cropping photos and generating colour palettes; not really the revolution we were looking for.

So! Could your website build itself?

The short answer is no. Although there have been a number of astounding developments in AI that claim to be able to build your website for you, there is still a lot that AI can’t do that humans find very simple. Currently AI can do what ‘machines’ have been made to do – make tedious, boring bulk tasks easy and quick. But this is just a fraction of the entry level work in the design world. While these AI are fantastic for interpreting large amounts of data and giving you recommendations, they cannot comprehend subjective aspects, such as taste, or simply what looks good to the human eye.

For now, Artificial Intelligence isn’t better than a designer full of creativity. But it’s a safe bet that with the way technology is moving, we may see something that is very much worth shouting about in the not-too-distant future.

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