10 tips from industrial designer Yves Bhar to designers working with artificial intelligence, robotics and today's connected technology.
We are in a new era of design, we live in an age where designers increasingly focus on time and space, driven by technological advances in the field of artificial intelligence (AI), robotics and smart environments. Industrial designer Yves Bhar points out that there are no posters or guidelines for today's artificial intelligence designers, robotics and connected technology. Last week, during the inaugural debate at the Brooklyn Design Festival A / D / O /, Yves Bhar presented his vision of how these guidelines that are still missing on an official level could be, giving them a form of 10 design principles in the AI era.
1. DESIGN RESOLVES AN IMPORTANT HUMAN PROBLEM.
What is the problem you are trying to solve with AI? At CES in Las Vegas there was a lot of trivial automation, of the sort of gadgets that go against that form of automation destined to improve people's lives, which proposes services and values, comments Yves Bhar “What is our intent in the world? just what you have to ask who is in charge of AI. For example, he mentions the clever cradle he designed, called Snoo. The problem he was trying to solve was clear: the lack of sleep for parents with young children. This is a well documented problem, both in terms of anecdotes and real research. Starting from the assumption that sleep deprivation is a national problem, Yves Bhar has connoted as a question of that specificity that helped to focus its design.
2. THE DESIGN MUST BE SPECIFIC OF A CONTEXT.
"At CES we came across hundreds of little robots, they are white, cute, with cute eyes, keep us company or make it to our dog." But Yves Bhar believes that the mode of anthropomorphism of robots is just a historical cliché and should be interrupted and avoided. "Why do we need to anthropomorphize these machines? Why do we need to emulate human emotions and interactions? Going beyond these cultural clichés means first of all thinking about the context that will allow designers to work on truly smart objects.
3. DESIGN INCREASES HUMAN CAPACITIES WITHOUT REPLACING MEN
Robots will never be useful to our work until they are designed to enhance our human abilities. This principle encourages designers to think about how products can enhance human experience, rather than replacing humans. Yves Bhar says: Can we design different services to complete human beings and their lives instead of replicating them? ”Bhar wonders. Yves Bhar has recently worked with SuperFlex startup to design a suit that uses electric and synthetic muscles to increase the different levels of mobility in older people, instead of completely replacing their natural strength. The device looks a bit like a diving suit and was designed to be worn under clothes. This is an excellent example of how technology can be conceived as a concrete aid to humans.
4. QUALITY DESIGN WORKS FOR EVERYONE, EVERY DAY.
Bhar emphasizes that not everyone in a house can appreciate technology as much as a genuine lover of technology. With domestic innovation, what happens is that those who install it usually love it the most, while everyone else often detests it. opposite of what a smart and well-designed product should do. Yves Bhar says he would like the technology in a home to be first and foremost useful. Which means that technology cannot be something difficult to install and not even something that is difficult to live with.
5. GOOD TECHNOLOGY AND DESIGN ARE DISCRETE.
Design should make life easier. We have adapted ourselves, over thousands of years, to receive information and act on the basis of specific information, "explains Yves Bhar. "If the wind begins to blow and if the temperature drops, I interpret this as the forecast of an incoming storm, or at least a change in the weather. Why can't we do it with products too? Why can't we create signals that allow us to be informed and at the same time control the environments in which we find ourselves? "For example, let's take August, a company that Yves Bhar co-founded and for which he designed an intelligent lock that opens the door when it senses yes, so you don't have to go through the bag to retrieve the keys. No need to take the phone, the system causes the phone to vibrate and the sound to stop, indicating that the door has been successfully unlocked. "Examples like this are what I call invisible interfaces, and continue research in this truly fundamental area. Ultimately, great design means discreet design that does not distract from the most significant experiences, enriching their experience instead.
6. GOOD DESIGN INCREASES NEEDS AND OPPORTUNITIES.
When you implement an AI project, you design a system that learns and that grows, with features that can change over time thanks to software updates. Bhar claims that with every single product he launched over the last eight years, he could see that he liked the same product six months after the official launch. Products must be designed to allow space for development and change.
7. THE GOOD DESIGN OF LIFE TO PRODUCTS AND SERVICES THAT BUILD LONG TERM RELATIONSHIPS AND DO NOT CREATE EMOTIONAL DEPENDENCE
Taking a cue from point number six, products should be designed for much longer-term use. Bhar describes a conceptual project he did in the 1990s for SFMOMA. The museum asked him to design a prototype of a shoe of the future. Yves Bhar has designed a shoe that is not based on seasons or styles, but on the way of walking, pronation and possible weight variations. Later, the manufacturer could replace a current set of shoes with those specifically designed for your feet. The idea behind it? A product should create loyalty, improving over time, establishing a permanent relationship with a user.
8. GOOD TECHNOLOGICAL DESIGN LEARN FROM HUMAN BEHAVIORS AND PROVIDES THEM.
Machine learning and AI slowly infiltrate every technology, products not only have the opportunity to learn, but they also know how to predict human behavior in order to better serve the user. Yves Bhar illustrates this idea with ElliQ, a social robot designed to keep the elderly company. And the aim is to help you stay connected with the world in the aging phase, or when cognitive functions are decreasing. Instead of waiting for a request from its elderly user, the robot proactively suggests some personalized activities, in order to keep the user busy. It is a striking example of how artificial intelligence is able to improve a specific aspect of a person's life in response or prediction of behavior.
9. GOOD DESIGN ACCELERATES NEW IDEAS.
Bhar believes that true innovation can be pushed forward faster if put into the hands of a great designer. For example, take Ori, an MIT startup that is planning urban micro apartments. The company's solution for the real estate crisis in the city is to use robotics to make smaller spaces functionally larger, despite the actual size. Thanks to a retractable furniture system, an apartment transforms from bedroom to living room with the simple push of a button. Ori, conceived several years ago, is about to arrive on the market this year, an example of deep dystopian futurism that design has made real quickly.
10. THE GOOD DESIGN TAKES PLACES FROM LIFE.
To illustrate this principle that concludes the list of ten, Yves Bhar showed a video of a primitive conceptional robot that tried to take a woman for breakfast: failing miserably. There are a lot of everyday operations that humans do much better than robots, but there are also tasks that computers do even better, and these are areas where designers should work more. "I would never want to replace behavior human through artificial functionality, I would rather reduce the complexity and make people freer so that they can focus more on far more important companies. For Yves Bhar the real problem lies in the way in which values can be inculcated in artificial intelligence. design could serve as a buffer against the dark side of the AI; when Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella proposed its AI design principles in a responsible manner, in 2016, he mentioned transparency, responsibility and the protection of privacy as critical components.
According to Yves Bhar designers have the responsibility and the task of producing moral products, within an environment able to act in an ethical and safe way, bringing the example of Facebook's fake news companies provide algorithms to increase traffic and do not mind that they can have a negative impact on our lives. I think there should be a self-correction mechanism. Ultimately, designers have a chance to be (and therefore have to ask themselves how) rampart against the immoral and irresponsible use of AI.