SAi, the company behind the Flexi wide format workflow software, is working with Oxford University on a three-year research project to explore the possibility of developing an artificial intelligence software solution for the sign industry.
Initially, researchers from the university’s Department of Engineering Science will use aggregate data to determine the common trends and behaviour of sign designers. The idea is to identify clear patterns that could then be used to develop design software for the signage industry that could cut down the amount of time taken and therefore cost at the design stage. This could mean an AI tool that suggests design elements, such as fonts, images and layouts.
Gudrun Bonte, vice president of Product Management at SAi, explained: “Businesses are often compromised by the time-consuming design phase, with very little of the costs transferred to their customers. With AI, print providers and sign shops may also be able to recruit designers from a wider pool of applicants. This will secure more time and resources to dedicate to increasing their profit margins and revenue streams.”
I so-wanted to headline this story ‘Designing by numbers’ because what we’re essentially talking about here is de-skilling the design process so that anyone can do it without the need to pay an expensively-trained designer. The great danger is that this will lead to competent design but without any real creativity.
Still, perhaps if we could take the same approach with all the really useless professions, like politicians and lobbyists then the technology would really prove itself useful.