Rapid advances in generative AI – the kind that creates images or text in response to user prompts – have elicited worries about students cheating on papers and graphic artists losing their jobs.

But it isn’t all doom and gloom. Juan Noguera, an assistant professor of design at the Rochester Institute of Technology, thinks this new technology can be a powerful tool in his field of industrial design, which is used to create electronic devices, cars and household goods. In fact, he’s already incorporating image-generation programs like DALL-E 2 and Midjourney into his and his students’ own design process.

The designer’s critical thinking abilities and expertise cannot be mimicked by these programs, he notes. But generative AI can serve as a springboard during the brainstorming stage, helping designers channel abstract ideas and goals into workable prototypes.

His students “all used AI in a different way,” Noguera writes, “but they all noted how it led them down an unexpected path.”

Also today:

Nick Lehr

Arts + Culture Editor

A volcano-themed tissue box designed with the help of AI-assisted image generation. Juan Noguera

DALL-E 2 and Midjourney can be a boon for industrial designers

Juan Noguera, Rochester Institute of Technology

During the brainstorming stage of the design process, AI-powered image generation programs can open creative doors that may have otherwise never been accessed.

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