Be Careful Using Figma's New Features...

Theo Rants
4 Jul 202413:37

TLDRFigma's newly launched AI design feature, which promised to automatically generate designs, was quickly disabled after accusations of copying Apple's Weather app surfaced. The issue was identified by Andy Allen, founder of Not Boring Software. Figma's CEO, Dylan Field, acknowledged the problem, linked to the underlying design systems, and committed to a thorough QA process before re-enabling the feature. The controversy raises concerns about AI's role in design and potential legal risks for derivative works.

Takeaways

  • 🚫 Figma's AI design feature, which was supposed to automate design, was quickly disabled due to concerns about its originality.
  • 🔍 The issue was first identified by Andy Allen, who showcased how the AI seemed to replicate the design of Apple's weather app.
  • 🗣️ Figma's CEO, Dylan Field, acknowledged the problem and announced the temporary disabling of the 'Make Design' AI feature for further review.
  • 🤖 The AI's output was criticized for its lack of variability and potential over-reliance on existing designs, raising questions about the training data used.
  • 🎨 The feature was intended to assist developers in quickly sketching out UI designs, but the results were too similar to existing apps.
  • 👀 The controversy highlights the risks of AI-generated designs inadvertently copying existing work, which could lead to legal issues.
  • 🛠️ Figma stated that the AI was not trained on community files or app designs, but the actual training process and data sources remain unclear.
  • 💡 The incident sparked a debate about the role of AI in design, with some fearing job loss and others seeing potential for enhanced creativity.
  • 👥 There's a call for better understanding and transparency in how AI tools like Figma's are trained and the data they use.
  • 🔄 Figma plans to re-enable the feature after a thorough quality assurance check to ensure the output is unique and of high quality.
  • 💼 The CEO's response to the issue was appreciated for its openness and commitment to addressing the community's concerns.

Q & A

  • What was the issue with Figma's AI design feature?

    -Figma's AI design feature was accused of ripping off the design of Apple's weather app, as it generated designs that were strikingly similar to Apple's UI.

  • Who first spotted the problem with Figma's AI design feature?

    -Andy Allen, the founder of Not Boring Software, first spotted and showcased the issue with Figma's AI design feature.

  • What was Figma's response to the issue?

    -Figma's CEO, Dylan Field, acknowledged the issue and announced that they would temporarily disable the AI design feature until they can ensure its output is satisfactory.

  • What is the purpose of Figma's 'Make Design' feature?

    -The 'Make Design' feature is intended to generate UI layouts and components from text prompts, providing a first draft to help developers and designers explore different design directions more quickly.

  • What does Figma claim their AI feature was not trained on?

    -Figma claims that their AI feature was not trained on Figma content, community files, or app designs, contrary to some accusations.

  • What is the potential risk of using AI-generated designs?

    -The potential risk is that AI-generated designs might be derivative of existing work, which could lead to legal issues if the designs are used without proper modification.

  • How does the AI feature's training data issue relate to the broader discussion on AI and creativity?

    -The issue highlights the challenge of ensuring AI tools generate truly original content and raises questions about the role of AI in the creative process and its potential impact on originality and creativity.

  • What is the 'Not Boring Software' and how is it relevant to this discussion?

    -Not Boring Software is a suite of apps created by Andy Allen, which includes a skinable weather app. It is relevant because Andy Allen's apps were used as a test case to demonstrate the issue with Figma's AI feature.

  • What does the controversy imply about the future of AI in design?

    -The controversy implies that while AI can assist in the design process, it also needs to be carefully managed to avoid issues related to originality and intellectual property rights.

  • How did the AI's output compare when tested with the same prompt multiple times?

    -When the same prompt was used multiple times, the AI generated designs that were identical, suggesting a lack of variability and indicating potential issues with the training data or AI implementation.

  • What is the importance of the QA process in the development of AI features like Figma's?

    -A robust QA process is crucial to ensure the AI feature produces unique and non-infringing designs, and to prevent potential legal and reputational risks for the company.

Outlines

00:00

😲 Figma AI's Controversial Design Debacle

The video discusses the controversy surrounding Figma's AI design feature, which was temporarily disabled after accusations of ripping off Apple's weather app design. The issue was first highlighted by Andy Allen, founder of Not Boring Software, who demonstrated how Figma AI generated designs strikingly similar to Apple's app. Figma's CEO, Dylan Field, responded by stating that the AI was not trained on Figma community files or app designs, contradicting the allegations. The video also compares the situation with another AI tool, Versel, and suggests that Figma's AI issue might be due to a limited and specific dataset. The segment ends with a critique of the AI's lack of creativity and the potential legal risks of using AI-generated designs.

05:01

🤔 The Impact of AI on Design and Job Security

This paragraph delves into the implications of AI design tools like Figma's 'Make Design' on the job market for designers. It presents two viewpoints: one that suggests AI could democratize digital design and the other that fears it might automate away jobs. The CEO of Figma addresses the controversy, clarifying that the AI feature uses commissioned design systems and large language models, not community files. The video points out the limitations of the AI's variability due to a smaller dataset and suggests that the AI might be producing unoriginal designs because of the way it was trained. The segment concludes with advice for designers to be cautious with AI-generated content to avoid legal issues and a call for transparency and better understanding of AI training processes.

10:02

🔍 The Risks of AI-Generated Designs and Black Box Models

The final paragraph of the script examines the risks associated with using AI to generate designs, especially when the AI's training data includes designs that are too similar to existing apps. It raises concerns about the legality of exporting AI-generated designs that may have been trained on copyrighted material. The video uses an analogy of copyright infringement in the translation and art world to illustrate the potential for legal disputes. It also emphasizes the unknowns of AI's 'black box' nature, where the specific data and processes used to train the AI are not transparent to the user. The segment concludes by acknowledging the need for caution and a deeper conversation about the ethical and legal implications of AI in design.

Mindmap

Keywords

💡Figma AI

Figma AI refers to the artificial intelligence feature within the Figma design tool that was intended to automate the design process for users. In the context of the video, it is portrayed as a controversial tool because it was accused of replicating the design of Apple's weather app, which led to its temporary disabling by Figma. The video discusses the implications of this AI tool on the design industry and the importance of unique design in the face of such technologies.

💡Ripping off

The term 'ripping off' is used in the video to describe the act of copying or imitating someone else's work without permission or credit. It is a key point of contention in the video, as the Figma AI was accused of ripping off the design of Apple's weather app. The video script mentions this issue multiple times, emphasizing the legal and ethical concerns designers face when using AI tools that may replicate existing designs.

💡Make design AI feature

The 'Make design AI feature' is a specific function within Figma that was designed to generate UI layouts and components from text prompts. The video explains that this feature was temporarily disabled due to its tendency to produce designs that were too similar to existing apps, specifically Apple's weather app, which raised questions about the quality and originality of the designs it could produce.

💡Andy Allen

Andy Allen is the founder of Not Boring Software, which is mentioned in the video as the company behind the Skinable weather app. He is credited with discovering the issue with Figma's AI feature, as he showcased how the AI was generating designs that were strikingly similar to Apple's weather app. His discovery and subsequent tweet brought attention to the limitations and potential legal issues of AI in design.

💡UI layouts

UI layouts, or user interface layouts, refer to the visual arrangement of elements on a screen that a user interacts with in an application or website. In the video, the Figma AI's ability to generate UI layouts from text prompts is highlighted, but it also points out the problem of the AI producing layouts that are too similar to existing designs, thus lacking originality.

💡Design Systems

Design Systems are a set of rules and resources that designers use to create consistent and scalable user interfaces. In the video, it is mentioned that Figma's AI uses 'off-the-shelf large language models combined with Design Systems' to generate designs. However, the issue arose because the AI seemed to produce designs that were too similar, indicating a lack of variability in the Design Systems used for training.

💡QA process

QA, or Quality Assurance, is a process of checking and testing a product to ensure it meets certain standards. The video discusses how Figma's CEO acknowledged the need for a better QA process for the AI feature, as the issues with the AI's output were identified shortly after its release. This highlights the importance of thorough testing in the development of AI tools.

💡Craft

In the video, 'craft' is discussed as a competitive advantage in design, suggesting that unique and well-crafted designs are more valuable than generic ones. The issue with Figma's AI was that it did not produce crafty or unique designs, but rather copies of existing ones, which goes against the idea of craft as a distinguishing factor in the design industry.

💡Legal trouble

The video warns designers about the potential for 'legal trouble' when using AI tools like Figma's Make design feature. If the AI generates designs that are too similar to existing apps, it could lead to copyright infringement issues. The video emphasizes the need for designers to thoroughly check and modify the AI's output to avoid such legal issues.

💡Black box

A 'black box' in the context of AI refers to a system where the internal processes are not transparent to the user. The video mentions the AI's 'black box' nature as a concern because designers do not know what data the AI is trained on or how it generates its designs. This lack of transparency poses a risk, as the AI could inadvertently produce designs that infringe on existing copyrights.

Highlights

Figma's newly announced AI feature, which automatically designs for users, has been temporarily disabled due to controversy.

The AI feature was criticized for producing designs that appeared to rip off Apple's weather app.

Andy Allen, founder of Not Boring Software, exposed the issue by showing the AI's output closely resembling Apple's design.

Figma CEO Dylan Field acknowledged the issue and stated the company will improve the AI feature's quality assurance process.

The AI's design output was found to be too similar due to a lack of variability in the training data.

Figma's Make Design feature was intended to assist developers in quickly sketching out UI layouts and components.

The AI's training data may have been derived from existing app designs, raising concerns about originality and potential legal issues.

Designers are advised to check existing apps or heavily modify AI-generated designs to avoid legal trouble.

The controversy sparked a debate on whether AI tools like Make Design could eliminate jobs by democratizing digital design.

Some argue AI will help eliminate repetitive design work, allowing for more creativity to emerge.

The AI's black box nature poses a risk, as users do not know the exact data it was trained on or how it generates outputs.

Figma commissioned design systems for the AI models, but this does not guarantee the avoidance of derivative work.

The incident highlights the importance of having a robust QA process for AI-generated content.

Dylan Field's response to the controversy was praised for its transparency and commitment to addressing the issue.

The temporary disabling of the feature allows Figma to reassess and improve the AI's design output.

The incident raises questions about the role of AI in design and the potential for it to stifle or enhance creativity.

The future of design may rely on AI tools that can provide unique and creative solutions, not just replicate existing ones.