NowLab Workshop: AI-Driven Design

The theme for this year’s annual Isobar Hackathon was “Create Social Change through Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence.” With that in mind, the New York team explored the impact of AI on the design process to spark inspiration. The following are just some of the ways we can leverage AI as a creative assistant to strengthen workflows and deliver thought-provoking projects.

Streamline Asset Creation

Despite being relatively lackluster and time-consuming, producing assets in a multitude of sizes and specs is a necessary step in the creative process. AI can lend a hand in automating tasks like cropping, resizing, and editing, giving designers time to focus on more creative efforts.

Netflix uses an algorithm to identify focal points in image assets, generate crops, apply edits, and output text in different languages.

Adobe Photoshop has a content-aware feature that intelligently fills selected image areas with computer-generated content sampled from surrounding areas. Scene Stitch, a more advanced version of this feature, is in development and will incorporate content sampled from outside imagery.

Increase Design Efficiency

Applying our design skills to craft experiences that are personal, meaningful, and rewarding is always the goal. We can train AI-powered tools to help in the execution of detail-oriented creative tasks, ensuring progress is accurate and effective.

Stylit is an experimental 3D rendering tool that can generate stylized 3D assets based on user input sketches.

Adobe Premiere Pro launched a color matching feature that helps editors automatically apply color treatment across footage, and an autoducking feature that intelligently reduces music volume during dialogue.

Communicate Ideas Faster

With rapid prototyping, we can quickly and more effectively communicate and iterate on ideas. AI is advancing our ability to arrive at an optimal solution which is highly valuable in the design process.

Google AutoDraw is a tool that uses object recognition to automatically detect what a user is drawing on a screen and then matches it with an illustration.

Airbnb created a prototype that translates rough sketches of UI elements into polished interfaces using a library of pre-styled components.

Quickly Find Resources

Search results can be overwhelming with traditional methods. AI-based search tools provide unexpected interactions. They offer finely-tuned results, so we can filter through the clutter and find precisely what we’re looking for.

Shutterstock has a composition-aware search that allows the user to position search terms within a frame and identifies images with compositions that match.

Boost Creativity

Many times, we dream up an awesome, large-scale idea, only to realize they require more hands or time than what’s available. An AI model can be trained to help execute on big ideas, allowing us to churn out unique and inspired results.

An algorithm combined predefined patterns and colors to generated 7 million unique jar labels for Nutella.

The Oi logo was programmed to transform sound inputs into a unique form, resulting in an evolving and personalized “living” logo. uses an algorithm to transform user-uploaded images into stylized works of art.

Whether it’s something you’re consciously aware of or not, AI is already transforming the way we work and the tools we use. I’m excited to see how we continue to push boundaries and invent new ways of applying artificial intelligence and machine learning to advance the practice of design.

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