GDFN2023 Keynote 4 — The Design Value Positioning and Craft Practicality in the Evolution of AIGC Technology

Tengfei Dong
7 min readJan 24, 2024

At the end of the year, as an individual, I was invited to participate in the most impressive online exchange in recent years (2023 Design Future International Youth Festival — Computational Creativity _ A non-profit, non-institutional student community). The 12 hours of high-density sharing across time zones were delivered by outstanding young people from various fields, providing a shocking focus and confident expression. This further solidified my belief in a possibly better future.

*The PPT was written in the early hours of the event day and published three weeks later… a case of severe procrastination… sigh. *There is an online meeting video, pending community release, PDF available for download at the end.

Since this participation was in an unofficial capacity, a stance was taken to separate interests related to benefits. Being at the forefront of large models and the AIGC field also inevitably has its limitations. Let’s first look at a recently launched video heavily involved with AIGC tools, one of the vast numbers of AI-related design work objects.

AI picture book videos “The Foolish Old Man Moves Mountains — White Deer,” “Snow White — Ouyang Nana,” “Seven Gems — Song Yi.”

So why do I want to talk about today’s topic? To appear that I’ve indeed given it serious thought, I need an image. I made a request to an image model to express my question, thinking of a particularly creative question mark, but it shouldn’t appear problematic. It should express a question mark subtly and creatively (just like a client’s question). But in fact, it’s also a topic I care about — the topic of being alive.

Yesterday, I sketched out a simple whiteboard. As professional designers/managers, we actually first think about the impact of a new thing on design work, like fundamentally, whether design is no longer needed. This year will be particularly typical, with everyone actively and passively acquiring massive amounts of AIGC information. But usually, the massive reading of information only adds to the anxiety. My attitude is not to watch the excitement but to deeply participate in value creation. This depth of participation in value creation has three layers: as a user, participating in existing business models of AIGC products, and as entrepreneurs designing new AIGC applications from a business perspective.

Thus, it’s seen that design’s involvement in this process first has a big environment, impacting this year’s focus, the first productive force of AIGC technology evolution, creating imaginative space. Essentially, it still needs to return to commercial scale profitability, generating profit at some point. This goal’s achievement process relies on design from a survival perspective, positioning value, through necessary quantifiable means, making AIGC design craft practical. With the rapid development of AIGC technology, companies with technological reserves or keen demand insights will be more competitive; this competitiveness is reflected in being able to use AIGC technology more effectively to meet market demands and innovate.

This was on 12.20, three days ago, by Meta. The method centers on the concept of anchor-based cross-frame attention, a mechanism for implicit cross-frame propagation diffusion features, ensuring excellent temporal consistency and high-fidelity synthesis. Improved temporal consistency through unique data enhancement strategies. Fairy is extremely efficient, generating 120 frames of 512x384 video in just 14 seconds (4 seconds at 30 FPS), with a comprehensive user study of 1000 generated samples.

Designers’ value positioning, in this technology-driven environment, needs to find their unique value; this means designers must not only master relevant technical knowledge but also apply these technologies to create designs with commercial value; designers’ roles become indispensable as they can transform technical potential into actual, attractive products or services.

(AI Video “Interview with Shang Bushi — The Impact of AIGC on Creators and Society_2023.09.01”)

*In this era that transcends the boundaries between virtual and real, AIGC has become a symbolic presence, like a digital spiderweb woven into the social structure. Creators, as the soul of modern culture, are imprisoned by this virtual net, their creativity gradually dissolved, alienated into slaves of symbols. The digital interconnected world advocated by AIGC, though a replica of reality, is a distorted mirror, reflecting false desires and real emptiness. In this AIGC-dominated spectacle, creators are forced into a digital framework, their works no longer expressions of reality, but compressed into clickable, shareable symbols. These symbols cycle endlessly on virtual social platforms, losing the original emotions and depth of the creators. Society, led by AIGC, becomes more like an information swamp, real interactions replaced with fragmented likes and comments. The impact of AIGC is not entirely negative. It provides creators with a vast platform for exposure, allowing more people to encounter their works. However, behind this exposure lies the blurring of the creators’ own value. They are no longer measured by creativity and depth but by click rates and follower counts. AIGC has created an illusion of information, immersing people and forgetting the complexity and diversity of the real world. AIGC has built a digital bridge between creators and society, but this bridge has also become a high wall dividing reality and virtuality. It fosters superficial prosperity but covers the confusion and anxiety in the creators’ hearts. The light of AIGC is illusory; creators need to be vigilant, not to be swallowed by the storm of the virtual world, to hold on to the truth of their creation, seeking a reality beyond symbols.

*【0108comments】A 4x4x4 box space, projecting the video from all four sides is the best display method I can imagine.

Providing a framework for thought.

Promoting the scale and profitability of AIGC business. Designers, by combining AIGC technology with market demands, help companies form scale and profitability; this includes creating attractive designs and understanding how to effectively integrate these designs into business models and market strategies.

Regarding returning to business, two important focus points. 1 is that AIGC does not create demand; it needs to return to the industry and scene demands themselves. 2 is Deepfake, going beyond the original concept. *【0108comments】From a business perspective of technology application in content production, based on IM form products are a user participatory interactive content production method, but limited by user expression richness/length, cannot escape the low quality of second-generation content (assuming content authorized for second production, and U/PGC data content production closed loop). From the supply profit, it’s rather not as good as deep imitation in the original content path (significantly reducing content production costs).

(AI Video — Digital Humans Driven by Twin Technology by Dujia)

The world is an observable square box, deconstructed from a design perspective.

(AI Video)