Yes, to a certain degree. And I’m not trying to be overly optimistic. Consider the industrial revolution. While automation did replace many low-skilled jobs, it didn’t completely eliminate manufacturing. Similarly, AI will compete with low-skilled services, leaving room for those with specific skills, knowledge, and the ability to provide niche or custom solutions. I started learning web development in 2008 when divs were not a thing.
We used classic tables (with tr and td!) to build websites. However, the emergence of responsive design completely changed the game. Suddenly, everything I knew about tables became irrelevant, and I had to evolve to remain a successful web developer. Enter drag-and-drop builders. These tools revolutionized the development process, allowing projects to kickstart within hours instead of weeks of coding the HTML and styles from scratch.
So the big question is, what can’t AI replace?
- Creativity: AI struggles to replicate human creativity, which is crucial for innovative and imaginative solutions. It can gather information that has already been created, but it requires human prompts (and thus, knowledge) to “create.”
- Human experiences and expertise: AI may not possess the domain-specific knowledge or expertise required to effectively manage the complexities of help people with real business problems.
- Limited context comprehension: AI may not fully understand the unique context, goals, and challenges specific to your needs. Its responses are based on statistical patterns learned from data, and it may not always provide appropriate solutions tailored to your needs.
- Ethical considerations and empathy: AI (at the moment) generates responses based on patterns in the data it was trained on. It does not possess personal values, moral judgment, or the ability to consider ethical implications. When it comes to sensitive matters like ethical storytelling and telling people’s stories with honor, human discernment is the only way.
- Doing some of the work: While AI tools can help build websites almost instantly, what if you need updates or if the client has specific requirements or updates? Engineers are still needed to envision, prompt, and implement these requests effectively.
- Genuine connection: While some may feel a connection with bots, as humans, we long to be understood. There will always be people who prefer paying professionals for their ability to listen, understand, and solve problems.
Technology is always advancing. Web development has already advanced several times, making certain knowledge and skills obsolete, all within 15 years. Instead of fearing AI taking our jobs, we should acknowledge that it may make some services and skills obsolete. Why code a website from scratch when drag-and-drop builders are available? Similar changes may occur in other areas with the integration of AI. However, website developers won’t be replaced by AI – we will be assisted.
What we need to do is take the time to adapt to this current moment in time to keep ourselves relevant for the future. But how can we stay relevant in the era of AI?
- Focus on the grunt work that clients prefer not to handle. As professionals in design or development, we can provide problem-solving expertise that ChatGPT may answer perfectly, but clients may not want to engage in initially.
- Offer custom solutions that AI cannot create yet. By leveraging our creativity and expertise, we can deliver unique and tailored outcomes that set us apart.
- Be guides for overwhelming projects. Clients often need someone to navigate complex initiatives, and our experience and knowledge make us invaluable in this role.
- Sell “peace of mind.” Our ability to provide reassurance, trust, and confidence in delivering quality work remains a valuable aspect of our services.
AI is an advancement in technology and an unstoppable force we have to reckon with. While it may bring scary changes, it also presents new opportunities. By adapting and evolving alongside AI, we can ensure our continued relevance in the web design and development industry.