Artificial Intelligence is by no means a new phenomenon, but the last year has been a real watershed moment for AI. Advanced autonomous services are steadily making their way into our everyday lives – driverless cars went from fantasy to reality and chatbots like Amazon’s Alexa are practically part of the family now. Well, maybe that’s going a bit far, but one certainty is that AI is here to stay.

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Unique users of digital virtual assistants are set to rise from 390 million in 2015 to 1.8 billion by 2021”. Tractica 2016

Per our latest thinkpiece – The Millennial Consumer: opportunities for brand engagement – which we presented at Food Matters Live, here are a few ways AI could influence future design.

Emergent Anthropomorphism

While Gen Z are ‘born digital’ and so very comfortable with the possibilities of AI, Millennials can display a little more uncertainty – surely something we can thank the Terminator franchise for. But sci-fi aside, the rapid change and uncertainty AI presents is a concern, especially for this maturing consumer group. The imperfect, hand-crafted, human stories behind craft beer engaged this generation in their 20’s, but how can brands engage them as they grow up? Monzo recognised the Millennial need for control and security with their user-friendly banking interface. By putting the customer first and speaking their language they’ve created the sense of a considerate and user-centric brand – something not always associated with established banks!

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Changing health codes

With Fitbit and Pebble monitoring our fitness and sleeping patterns, it’s only a matter of time before AI enables us to control our health seamlessly. In fact, STYR Labs come pretty close with their AI-led health and fitness app. But what are the implications for design if your wearable tells you all you need to know to be healthy? The ‘health claims war’ witnessed in recent years is likely to come to an end, liberating the pack and allowing highly evocative, emotional health trends to come into their own, such as:
Health = Beauty: merging health and beauty cues reflect the idea that beautiful insides equal beautiful outside too.

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Swedish Health Food brand Renee Voltaire


Ap
othecary Exotica: bringing functional product benefits to life through exotic provenance.

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Essential Living Foods

How the future of AI will pan out within modern society remains to be seen. Whether it means a seamless global community or ‘Skynet’ subjugation, there is one thing we can be fairly certain about – it’s an exciting time for the role of design.