Human-made designs are still more creative and unique – for now.

Helen Hwang, Contributor

January 20, 2023

2 Min Read

The intersection of AI and fashion has mostly revolved around personal fashion recommendations, optimizing supply chain management, automating processes and improving sustainability.

But can AI actually design fashion, and how well?

An academic from Pusan National University in South Korea sought to find out by conducting her own research. The results were published in the Thinking Skills and Creativity journal.

“At a time when AI is so deeply engrained into our lives, this study started instead with considering what a human can do better than AI,” said study author and assistant professor Yoon Kyung Lee. “Could there be an effective collaboration between humans and AI for the purpose of creative design?”

The research was conducted in collaboration with fashion designers instead of just data scientists, who typically focus on the technology when building the AI models.

The study began by creating new textile designs using deep convolution generative adversarial networks (DC-GANs) and cycle-GANs. The result was compared to similar designs created by students in the field.

Result? The designs from both were similar. However, the human designs were far more original and unique because of the designer’s experiences.

So where does this leave AI? Prof. Lee said AI can help automate repetitive tasks so human designers can concentrate on more challenging creative work. The AI-powered design model could also be used as an educational tool. Those interested in fashion design but have little background in it can experiment with fashion design using AI.

Among other things, Lee created a human-AI model where the designer works with AI to create new design ideas. If the designer shares the creative process and ideas with others, the model can interconnect and learn, thus further improving its designs. Here, the designer’s tasks go beyond the visual to include a variety of other disciplines.

The fashion industry can use this model to predict changes in the industry, offer recommendations and co-creation services.

“In the future, everybody will be able to be a creator or designer with the help of AI models. So far, only professional fashion designers have been able to design and showcase clothes,” Lee said. “But in the future, it will be possible for anyone to design the clothes they want and showcase their creativity.”

About the Author(s)

Helen Hwang

Contributor, AI Business

Helen Hwang is an award-winning journalist, author, and mechanical engineer. She writes about technology, health care, travel, and food. She's based in California.

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