Can you truly communicate with a program or robot?

Part 1: Robots vs. Humans

If you’ve got an iPhone or android, you’ve most likely tested out the artificial intelligence inside. Countless times I have tried to start a conversation with Siri, and she simply doesn’t understand what I am trying to say…

There are countless movies which try to portray our future world. What would it be like if we had robots replacing us? And what would our world look like if there were? A favourite of mine is Ex Machina, this movie features a robot, Ava, who’s consciousness is tested throughout the movie.

Though this is a very futuristic example, slowly more and more components of our lives are being taken over by robots or automatic machines. There’s automated checkout, cruise control in your car, soon to be driverless cars and factories using robot arms. So many of our jobs are being threatened by machinery and programming, and we are slowly letting it take control of how we manage our lives.

As a business owner making a living from the creative industry, there are more and more programs threatening the future of our work. To totally replace my role, there are ‘build it yourself drag and drop websites’, and to replace others roles, there are sites to design your own icons, logos and business cards in 5 minutes at low prices. It’s cheap, fast, it’s convenient and I can see the benefits of doing this.

But I ask you this, how would you be feeling if you only ate McDonald’s and fast food for breakfast, lunch and dinner? Are you feeling good? Are you getting the quality you need, and is your food customised to your needs? This concept is the same for anything to do with branding, creativity, design and marketing. If you take the fast road, is it going to give you the quality and detail that your business deserves?

Marketing and branding is about giving your consumer a message that they can understand. It is about telling the consumer how they would feel, and what their future would look like if they purchased your product. Understanding emotions is an important part of sales because at the end of the day your customers will buy a brand because of how it makes them feel. I mean why else would you prefer to buy a Mac when you can get a PC that’s cheaper and has better hardware?

‘The inspired leaders and the inspired organisations — regardless of their size, regardless of their industry — all think, act and communicate from the inside out.’ – Simon Sinek, TED Talk 2010.

So when it comes to robots, if you asked it to create something that would make an entire population feel an emotion, would it even know what the emotion is? If you asked it to design something for the future, would it have the cognitive ability to think about what an entire population would need? Does the robot or program have enough innovation to run entire countries? These questions and more can be asked when you consider using a robot or program to replace a person with your creative, political and emotional needs.

Part 2: Practical Examples

Practically there are so many other reasons why you would want a person to do your design work for you. Here are a few examples of the benefits of an automated program vs. a person.

Web Design
Drag and Drop Website Builder

  • It’s cheap
  • You can get something done quickly
  • It’s simple
  • Good for people who don’t need a website for sales and conversion
Web Designer

  • Knows the latest industry standards
  • Can customise your design to suit your industry and brand
  • Websites built by a web designer often rank better on Google
  • There is room for growth
  • Web designers can understand and optimise user experience and user flow
  • Can save you time on trying to work out the website builder
Graphic Design
Build it yourself brand and logo

  • It’s cheap
  • You can get something done quickly
  • Good for people who want a basic design
  • Sometimes free
Graphic Designer

  • Your logo and brand is unique and can guarantee none of the designed elements are being used by someone else
  • A graphic designer can help you understand trends with your competitors and industry
  • They can help apply consistent branding across all digital and print mediums for flyers, business cards, websites etc.
  • Can work with other people i.e. web designers and printers to create artwork ready for print or the web
Illustration and artwork
Clip art/stock imagery

  • It’s cheap
  • You can find quickly
  • Sometimes free

  • The artwork will be unique
  • The artist can understand concepts and create something which visually portrays your exact message
  • All subsequent images will be consistent