It was an astonishing whirlwind of AI product developments in the realm of Big Tech this week.
First on the roster, a remarkable introduction of a new generative AI iteration of Alexa, boasting a freshly tailored, large language model (LLM). This marks a monumental transformation in our beloved virtual assistant. Meanwhile, Microsoft’s AI companion, Copilot, has seamlessly integrated itself into the Windows operating system, extending its influence across all applications. Google’s Bard, too, has taken a direct plunge into Gmail, Docs, Maps, and beyond.
Just days after unveiling DALL-E 3, a vastly enhanced image generator with support for text and typography, OpenAI delivered an unexpected bombshell – ChatGPT, their flagship offering, will now graciously accommodate both voice prompts and image uploads from users.
Among these revelations, one theme stands out prominently – the evolution of user experience (UX) design within AI tools, products, and platforms. This evolution presents AI tools to a user who is AI-savvy, fostering a friendly interaction that allows users to engage with the inner workings of AI models and generate fresh outputs. This transformation isn’t confined to chatbots alone but extends to image generators, copilot workflows, and personal assistant devices.
Big Tech giants like Amazon, Google, Microsoft, and OpenAI are at the forefront of this movement, which I discussed a few weeks ago with Cassie Kozyrkov. Kozyrkov, who recently parted ways with Google after a decade as their chief decision scientist, emphasized the shift toward AI designed for consumers.
Reflecting on ChatGPT’s debut in November 2022, it becomes apparent that it marked the dawn of a new era in UX design for AI. ChatGPT’s intuitive, user-friendly interface effectively conceals the complexity under the hood while unambiguously declaring its AI nature. Users are not only invited but encouraged to interact with it to fulfill their needs.
In her view, AI development has evolved from a solo endeavor to a realm where large, interdisciplinary teams collaborate. Big Tech companies like Microsoft, Google, Amazon, and OpenAI have the privilege of hiring these versatile experts. Kozyrkov envisions a shift where design takes precedence over engineering in AI development.
However, she emphasizes that we are still in the early stages of this transformation, posing fundamental questions about system design and user representation. The focus is on creating tools and approaches that align with leaders’ goals, accommodating diverse user populations, and fostering collaborative design.
This transition represents a “radical pivot in product philosophy,” as users are actively encouraged to engage directly with AI components. This paradigm shift is evident in the latest announcements from Big Tech. Generative AI is swiftly becoming an integral part of our daily routines and creative endeavors, but the user experiences are unmistakably AI-driven, transparent, and open. Whether users input text, images, or their voices, they evaluate the utility and impact of these products while being fully aware of the underlying power of AI, even if it remains hidden beneath the surface.