Web designers are at the forefront of our Internet — that we love ever so dearly. They create all that we see and most of what we do in this webspace, including all the behind-the-screen activity. So, my question is what would happen if web designers just dropped off the face of the Earth?
With both rising interest and concern in artificial intelligence as of the recent decade, we can slowly start envisioning a world where robots can take over entire jobs simply because it’s cheaper and easier. I mean, it’s been happening over the past century in factories and manufacturing lines across the world.
The Grid is an “evolution” of web design, an initiative that aims to completely have websites designed by artificial intelligence — that is, with little human input. The initiative essentially (although probably not intentionally) looks to replace web designers with an online software that can make any Joe Schmoe look like an amateur web designer.
This is no doubt an interesting initiative, and awesome idea, but it just sounds like a regurgitator of content, using calculated judgements to place content blocks in certain ways — from the website, “The Grid harnesses the power of artificial intelligence to take everything you throw at it — videos, texts, urls and more — and automatically shape them into a custom website unique to you.”
Now I’m not against The Grid, but if properly executed and then successful, this could prove to be a major detriment on the industry of web design — human web design, that is.
As an analogy, if electric cars take over petrol cars, salespeople and dealerships could (not easily) move on to selling electric cars, and petrol companies would go bust — which employ standard business position employees, who could move to other companies (e.g. sales & marketing, logistics, etc.).
But if artificial intelligence completely takes over the designing of websites, we see the dawn of a new era without an entire industry of web designers or web developers, and a profession lost in time.
My formula linking completely-AI web design and the end of the world is as follows:
The Grid → The Terminator → Human demise
Well, not exactly.
What would happen to User Experience (UX)
Who better to understand humans, than humans themselves? Good UX requires a lot of understanding, and can’t simply be taught — web designers obtain years of experience in this area. Also, unlike humans, machines can’t evolve ideas or create new ones — and when they do, is when the real Terminator situation arrives.
The debate now lingers between human-learning and machine-learning being the bigger number in the equation. Personally, as developed and refined that AI can get, I think that there’s nothing that can overpower the creator — after all, humans created machine-learning.
AI is just doing the work for someone else, and in the case of web design, work that doesn’t need to be done artificially.