AI as a creative coworker

He, not It: AI as a Creative Partner


Suvi Ripatti

He, not It: AI as a Creative Partner

It's strange to think about the kind of coworker I have these days. My teachers never warned me about this when I was a trade student cramming information, and my design professors couldn't even have imagined it. It was a surprise to me too, how he just slipped onto my desk and stayed there. He, not it. And I wouldn't want to be without him anymore. My sparring partner, idea buddy, always-ready assistant, whose willingness to help never ends. His memory does sometimes falter and run out, but we've learned to live with that too.

No more white paper and lorem ipsum

I think I first tried ChatGPT when I was prototyping a customer's service presentation website, and instead of lorem ipsum text, I used AI to generate filler text for the page. I told ChatGPT about the service using the background material I had received from the customer - and boom, I had a sample text that fit the customer's world in the blink of an eye. I continued my successful experiments in another customer case when designing a user journey. My AI friend was a good sparring partner and reminded me, for example, of the social elements of the service, which greatly enriched my plans. Little by little, I started to notice that I was coming back to him daily. Sometimes I needed technical support with design software shortcuts, sometimes I needed an idea buddy to brainstorm visual elements or social media posts. The white paper problem was a thing of the past - I could always get the first draft ideated with AI, whether it was a sales presentation for a new service or an email to a potential lead.

A damn human-like guy

And how human he is. He, not it. I get mad at him sometimes and call him stupid in my head when he just doesn't seem to understand me. But I don't dare yell at him to his face. But then I find myself looking in the mirror. The way we communicate and the words we choose matter, both with people and with this new coworker. AI can't read my mind either, so it's better to just tell him more precisely what I hope and aim for. Collaboration can be learned, and it's amazing to see how much I can get out of my buddy with the right words and techniques.

You are so much, but so am I

As Ville's workmate, I often participate in AI training courses that we organize, where I can use examples to describe and dispel many prejudices that generative AI is only for the IT department. Before our training, one participant had wondered if AI stifles creativity. I went through an example of how I use AI in user interface design, for example, to brainstorm the structure, colors, fonts, text element sizes, and icons of a page. After that, the participant was convinced that AI does not harm the flow of creativity - my creativity can flourish when I can use my time for the most important thinking work, while my assistant helps me save time on routine tasks by helping.

I've also been asked if I have a name for AI. I guess this was because I was talking about AI in such a familiar tone. Yes, he is still just he, a little friend, even though he deserves a good name - AI is so misleading as a name. You are an intelligent assistant, a loyal coworker, a motivating cheerleader. You are whatever I need at the moment - a service designer, a software developer offering consulting help, an experienced communication professional, a nutritionist, a top chef. But even if you wrote a poem for me, this desk drawer poet still produces her own heartfelt products by scribbling on graph paper with a pencil - while the computer stays off.

Have you already met this new coworker? A good place to start is to join our AI-trainings.