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Should web designers be wary of the AI takeover?

(EDITORIAL) As artificial intelligence continues to make headway and many speculate about AI taking over jobs, should web designers be concerned?

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Web design

Web design is, I’m sure we can all agree, a highly skilled field. A professionally designed website is going to be markedly different from a basic WordPress template, and while both are useful, web designers are probably pretty confident that there will be enough clients willing to pay good money for a good product.

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When we talk about the looming artificial intelligence (AI) takeover, we customarily refer to industries like restaurant, retail, and manufacturing, because many of us have actually seen robots in those environments, replacing humans and stealing jobs. We can order from kiosks at fast food restaurants, purchase clothes and other goods without any human interaction, and there are things that were built by machines literally all around us, from our TVs to our trash cans.

AI effects on skilled labor

When it comes to more advanced AI, we’ve speculated on the effect self-driving cars could have on rideshare services like Uber and Lyft, and on the ways AI assistants like Amazon’s Alexa and Google Home can streamline our lives. But we tend to ignore, or miss entirely, the ways AI might be encroaching upon industries dependent on more specialized, skilled labor.

However, there are already plenty of early adopters applying AI tools to web design.

For instance, Logojoy uses AI to help small businesses and subject matter experts create their own logos, with over 3 million logos created to date. And Bannersnack uses an AI to evaluate the quality and effectiveness of banner ads.
But right now in web design, the ultimate AI competitor is The Grid, which has a handy AI assistant named “Molly” that takes in your content and churns out a complete website. Molly is the Siri of web design, and she can make design decisions faster than any human.

AI vs web designer

It’s too early to tell if AI is a true threat to flesh and blood web designers, but one thing is certain: AI can and will get bigger, better, and brighter. Google is shifting its resources from Search to AI, and other tech giants like Facebook and Microsoft are also itching to usher in the AI era.

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It’s important to remember, though, that a web designer’s job isn’t just designing websites.

Large clients, the kind that pay good money, expect expertise, guidance, and feedback – not just a finished website plopped in their laps. As corny as it sounds, the human touch is a big part of what a good web designer provides.
But by keeping up to date on the AI competition, web designers could position themselves as AI-allies, using AI tools to supplement the human effort, rather than supplant it.

#AIAllies

Written By

Staff Writer, Natalie Bradford earned her B.A. in English from Cornell University and spends a lot of time convincing herself not to bake MORE brownies. She enjoys cats, cocktails, and good films - preferably together. She is currently working on a collection of short stories.

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