I had a quick chat with my good friend and colleague, Smailing Ventura, Lead Designer from the everis Barcelona office about the upcoming event 'What would happen if AI Strategy, Design and Technology merge?' where he is a speaker. The online event is this February 25th, more details here.

Geoffrey: Hi Smailing, thanks for taking the time to have a quick chat. The upcoming talk on AI, Technology and Design is a really interesting topic and I would like to know a little more about what the topic is for the talk.
What is the inspiration behind the talk?

Smailing: At the everis Living Lab in Barcelona, we host the NTT Center of Excellence on Artificial Intelligence. The living lab facilitates the contact of the most innovative teams in the house. In the same place, the User Experience Research Centre investigates how users interact with new technology and reflects around user-centric methodologies. We all know that none of this would be possible without a business approach to lead and personalise each experience to the right industry.
The talk is our way to share our learnings with the world on a joint methodology where experimentation and prototyping are a centrepiece.

Geoffrey: Human-centred design is an interesting topic and it means different things to different people. As a designer, can you give me your definition of Human-centred design?   

Smailing: Lucky enough Human-centred is no longer a strange word in any part of the technology industry, but I guess not everyone applies the principle the same way. From my perspective as a designer, human-centred design is about caring, listening, and respecting the person behind the technology. Democratising access to new experiences regardless of their abilities or limitations, solving real-life problems, listening to what people find valuable, and understanding their real values and how technology makes them feel. 

Geoffrey: When it comes to Artificial intelligence design, how do you see these two worlds coming together? 

Smailing: Artificial Intelligence is a very abstract technology to understand to anyone that is not near involved in its development. Many AI requires an interface to become a product and evolve with their users. Designers come in as a visual translator, a translator that makes tangible the purpose and mechanics behind the interaction. This role is vital to understand reactions, correct and deliver a better product to the final audience. 

Geoffrey: As a Service Designer, can you explain how Service Design is different to UX or UI Design, and how close it is to technology? 

Smailing: All the given concepts are part of a human-centred approach, yet all of them with a different scope, I would even say that they work together like a Russian doll. UI is limited only on the perception aspect, what you can see, feel or hear on a given moment. At the same time, user experience has the objective of shaping the whole process's feelings and understanding. Service Design would be the bigger container doll, where the organisation objectives, digital and non-digital services and real user needs come into the equation.

Geoffrey: Finally, can you give me any predictions you will see in this space of AI, Tech and Design in the near or distance future? 

Smailing: Joining Tech and Design is already the new standard in any big tech company. Years ago, it was all about aesthetic and visual impact, but the most experienced structures understand that design is the key for communication, empathy, experimentation and creativity. The future of tech and design and technology is already ongoing.
I believe that our professional relation with AI within the next five years will be the same as working with a regular database, meaning that it will become a crucial part of any digital solution. This change will allow design and technology to create more flexible and hyper-personalised solutions.

Geoffrey: Thanks for your time today, good luck with the talk, I am really looking forward to hearing more. 


The talk will be on BrightTalk on February 25th. You can register for the event here on BrightTalk.