Categories
Generative Design

Machines think different

I have written about generative systems on this blog a couple of times. I think generative systems are the most fascinating thing that is happening right now from the view of the computer as a tool.

I believe they are crucial to designers or other people who like to solve problems. It will change how we think, work and make.

Creativity or creation is often about ideas, iterating, try-outs, feedback, bounce ideas, see what sticks or clicks and continue from there. It’s why we organise brainstorms, design critiques and creative sessions.

It’s why a multi disciplinaire team works and why diversity creates better products. Different views, different angles make ideas stronger. The lone inventor is romantic, but it might as well be a myth.

Generative systems are like adding this person with a completely different background to your team.

A computer is something we know as being very logical, the more examples we see how machine learning comes up with alternative solutions for existing problems, the less logical this computer seems to be.

It’s like these systems operate in a parallel universe without any of the knowledge we have. They don’t respect our rules, or don’t really care about them.

Reasoning without prior knowledge of the problem domain, but a deep understanding of the problem.

To illustrate this two examples from the past days.

This is work on “generative” drug design, which as the name implies, is trying to generate new structures rather than evaluate existing ones.

https://blogs.sciencemag.org/pipeline/archives/2019/09/04/has-ai-discovered-a-drug-now-guess

The first one is a proposal for a cable holder, the other one a proposal for a new drug.

Different fields, similar results.

Computers think different and by doing so they broaden how we see the world.

What makes it most awkward is that confronts us with the often self-imposed limits in our thinking and creativity.

Who’s the one being open minded?