Lahore, PB (June 6, 2023): Ideate Innovation, a human-centered design and ethnographic research firm, hosted the fifth instalment of its “Design & the World” series in collaboration with Daftarkhwan at their new Downtown coworking space. The rising popularity of AI-based software in nearly every industry, particularly overlapping with design, made “Design & AI” the natural next choice in the series. Ideate’s Head of Design Ali Murtaza followed his usual pattern of having an interactive session with questions flowing between the speaker and the guests. The audience included designers, AI professionals, and members of the Daftarkhwan and Ideate teams.
The flow of the talk was different than what one would expect after hearing “Design & AI,” as Mr. Murtaza took a step back to discuss all human technological advancement before raising the AI discussion. At every stage, the speaker was keen to point out why the advancement seemed necessary and natural when it was introduced. Yet, each time, the drawbacks of those advancements were not recognized openly.
Mr. Murtaza also shed light on the incremental rate at which life-changing technological advancements came. The time between the last revolution (social media) and AI was less than 20 years. Whereas the revolution prior to that (the invention of the computer) dates back almost 40 years before social media. The speaker pointed out that rapid advancement could lead to less preparation time against the possible harm these revolutions could cause.
“The Design & AI talk was one that was heavily requested. It felt like now was a good time to address concerns about the recent unprecedented developments in AI, and its widespread acceptance without much attention to the risks involved,” shared Mr. Murtaza after the talk. “My goal was to open up discussions about the potentially negative impacts of AI without disregarding all the good it may also bring. Overall, I feel that the discussion was extremely productive, thanks to a highly energised and opinionated audience.”
The next topic of discussion was “Generative Pre-trained Transformer” (GPT) technology that accelerated AI usage amongst commonfolk. This portion of the talk mulled over what the offering of GPT technology was versus what the unspoken negative effects could be. Here, the all-popular “AI could steal people’s jobs” discussion also took place. The conclusion from this section of the debate was that AI could be a great facilitator and would not imminently replace a significant portion of the current workforce in any field of work.
Among the many AI industry stakeholders in attendance was Soban Khurram, a vice president at Ekkel AI. He commented: “A few members of my team and I were happy to hear that an event regarding AI was taking place in Lahore. The topics chosen by Ali Murtaza and his questions certainly made it an intriguing talk. We’re inspired to have similar events to keep the debate around AI alive.”
The vigorous debate and engaged conversation throughout the longer-than-usual session demonstrated the widespread interest in this topic. To learn more about this topic and others, including a new design film series, follow Ideate’s website and social media.