Artificial Intelligence Revolutionizing Fashion Design: Will it Replace Creatives?

Artificial Intelligence Revolutionizing Fashion Design: Will it Replace Creatives?


Artificial intelligence (AI) is ushering in a transformation in various creative fields, including the world of fashion. However, will this burgeoning technology someday replace the creativity of human designers?


Artificial Intelligence Revolutionizing Fashion Design: Will it Replace Creatives?


Enter Calvin Wong, the creator of an AI program managed by a fashion designer known as the "Artificial Intelligence-Based Interactive Fashion Design Assistant," or simply "AiDA." It's the first technology of its kind in the market that enables fashion designers to collaborate with artificial intelligence to create original designs.


The program uses image recognition technology to swiftly transition from the initial design sketch to the fashion presentation stage, significantly reducing the development time of entire fashion collections.


AiDA relies on the original inspiration and personal style of the designer to produce unique creations, utilizing various advanced AI techniques, including color extraction technology that can accurately distinguish among over 2,300 colors.


Furthermore, AiDA can recognize a designer's inspiration through images of their preference boards, which are based on color choices, fabric prints, and drawings. It can generate new fashion collections in approximately 10 seconds, drastically reducing the overall design development time.


Calvin Wong states, "Fashion designers feed our tool with their pattern drawings, color choices, and initial sketches. Afterward, our tool can recognize these design elements and provide suggestions to improve and modify their initial designs."


Wong emphasizes that AiDA aims to "facilitate and inspire" designers but is not meant to be a "replacement for their creativity." He stresses the importance of preserving the original creativity of designers.


Calvin Wong leads the Artificial Intelligence in Design Lab, a research project jointly conducted by the Royal College of Art in the UK and the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts, where he serves as a fashion professor.


The impact of artificial intelligence on the fashion industry is poised to be substantial, from the initial idea and design phase to prototyping, manufacturing, distribution, and final recycling.


However, the future of artificial intelligence in the world of fashion is not entirely clear. Hilary Taimur, the founder of the "Colina Strada" brand in New York, acknowledges that she used the image-generating AI "RunwayML" to create designs for her Spring/Summer 2024 collection showcased at New York Fashion Week.


While Taimur used images of her own previous designs for inspiration, legal issues could potentially prevent AI-generated clothing from appearing on fashion runways.


Rebecca Lewin, curator of the Design Museum in London, anticipates that designers will raise issues related to intellectual property rights, and addressing these issues may require significant effort.


Narin Parfield believes that the matter is indeed sensitive but can be resolved. She speculates that companies will quickly adopt and invest in AI if it provides them with a competitive edge, with the main hurdle being the substantial investment required for the necessary infrastructure.


Concerns of Creators


As for the concerns of designers that AI will replace the human creative process, the key, according to Narin Parfield, lies in who controls the decision-making process.


She explains that the issue may arise when using genetic algorithms, where the computer generates a thousand different drawings based on the initial sketch. Executing this process would require weeks of human designer effort. However, if the designer remains in control of the program, AI can offer significant benefits by accelerating the process, all without having the program make decisions in place of the designer, according to Parfield.


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