In this interview, we sit down with Ilan Dray, a talented designer who has embraced the use of artificial intelligence (AI) tools in his work.
Rather than viewing AI as a threat to his profession, Ilan sees it as a way to enhance his creativity and streamline his workflow. He shares his insights on how AI can be used in the design industry and how it has impacted his own process.
With a unique perspective on the intersection of technology and design, Ilan offers valuable insights for other designers looking to incorporate AI into their own work.
- Can you tell us a bit about your background in art, design, and AI leadership? How did you become interested in these fields and what inspired you to write your book, “Fusion Experience”?
Ever since I was young, I remember myself drawing and always feeling very inspired by nature.
I was born in Haifa, Israel and left at 6 years old to be raised in France. My childhood as an Israeli in Paris was not an episode of “Emily in Paris”, it was really challenging. I did not know one word of French, but I understood very quickly that my ability to design would enable me to express myself. Just like the phrase, one visual can replace thousands of words. And yet, to be fully immersed, I still had to learn the French language to understand and be a part of their rich culture.
Finally, I graduated with a BA in French Literature and studied Visual Communication in the Institute of Art ESAIG Estienne, one of the most prestigious and famous in the world.
This culture shock was certainly the beginning of Fusion Experience, as it became clear that I myself am an interesting cocktail, a mix of Israeli “Chutzpah” with French style.
Self portrait created by Lensa AI App
My name is Ilan Dray, Senior Director of Global Brand Experience at Aqua Security, author of Fusion Experience and Co-Founder of Inkod, a leading digital studio located in Tel Aviv.
I’m also a partner in a Venture Capital Fund called toDay.ventures and board member of several startups. Some of my latest work includes the creation of a successful Indiegogo campaign with my wife Liliana for the world’s first germ-free, nanotech, eco-friendly cork yoga mat: SoulMat Yoga.
- In your book, you argue that it’s better to fuse UX with AI rather than trying to resist it. Can you elaborate on this idea and explain how designers can effectively integrate AI into their work?
In such an interconnected world where we can instantly have everything at our fingertips, the user has become very disconnected from the digital experience as a whole. Fusion Experience invites you to change your mindset and create holistic digital experiences that are more connected and will benefit the user in their everyday life.
The digital experience has to fuse with reality to create complementary experiences, and all the buzz around AI, today more than ever, serves as proof of it. Everyone has an opinion about the blockchain technology, the Metaverse, crypto-currencies or Artificial Intelligence (AI), and there are concerns that it will make the world an even more divided place, with the potential of creating a huge technology gap between generations.
Welcome to the Next Technology Revolution! I prefer to be part of it, accept it and learn from it than to deny it and feel, as we say in French, “passé”.
Artificial Intelligence created by MidJourney AI
It starts with a mindset change, and it’s a must for us, as creative people, to try these tools.
To ignore them or simply be against them, because they are new and / or its our default, is not the right thing to do. We shouldn’t be scared of technology that can help us be even more creative. It will not replace us; on the contrary, it will empower us and it’s definitely a great resource for inspiration. My invitation to all of us is to at least try these tools, many of them are free or offer the option to try before subscribing. These technologies move fast, so I consider this as a wake-up call to get onboard early (and not miss this plane!)
For example, since this interview was created using ChatGPT AI…
So let’s give you a definition about what AI is?
Artificial intelligence (AI) makes it possible for machines to learn from experience, adjust to new inputs and perform human-like tasks. Most AI examples that you hear about today – from chess-playing computers to self-driving cars – rely heavily on deep learning and natural language processing.
- You mentioned that there are many new tools available to help designers be more creative with AI. Can you give some examples of these tools and how they can be used in the design process?
Here are some of the tools that I’ve been using in a daily routine for a long time already.
Luma AI – This tool lets you turn any real-world item into a 3D image. You have the ability to move around the image with just a simple scroll.
MidJourney – A Discord server with the most magnificent abilities to create high-quality art pieces both in 2D and 3D.
ChatGPT will help you create content, debug code, write contracts and is even used today by the youngest generation to replace Google! It is another successful project by OpenAI related to Elon Musk and also behind the famous DALL-E-2, a new AI system that can create realistic images and art from a description in natural language.
Looka.com – This website will create free logos for you in seconds!
Inkod logo revamp by Looka AI
Lexica – A search engine that shows you copyright-free images that were generated using AI.
Futurepedia – The largest AI tools repository, updated daily..
And more …
- In your opinion, what impact will AI have on the future of design and creativity? How do you see the relationship between AI and human creativity evolving in the coming years?
This technology is improving every day; even more exciting is that we feed and “teach” this machine even more simply by using it. It’s already in our everyday life and there is more to come. Just recently I was testing an AI model to compose music or create short videos. The days will come where AI will be able to create a symphony Mozart style or the next Tarantino movie.
This future is closer than what we think and today, by using a simple prompt, imagination is more important than knowledge as Albert Einstein used to say. It will help us to visualise what sometimes human creativity can’t succeed in doing. The fusion is inevitable and will have a stronger impact on our way to see the world, and even maybe to save it.
Even today, I’m using ChatGPT to write the best prompts to create visuals on MidJourney.
Moses receiving the Commandments Tablets, Quentin Tarantino style by Midjourney AI
Prompt: <Moise receiving the ten commandments tables from God on the Mount Sinai revised by Quentin Tarantino style, 8K, ultra detailed, dramatic lights and actions>
The implementation today also of such tools in the corporate world will inspire even more creative designers and technology geeks to work together. It will definitely shortcut and save time by getting inspired by AI. Use it wisely!
- You’ve had experience working on both the art and technical sides of AI. How do you think these two areas can complement each other and what can artists and technologists learn from each other?
Thanks to technology, any artist is able to develop websites and applications without knowing one line of code, just like developers, without any knowledge in design, are able to create impressive interfaces. That being said, I do believe that collaboration between them will be key in creating something more unique, more “human” and more accessible.
Since I consider AI, metaverse and all of these technologies to be very connected, we will need to learn from each other and to combine forces.
I really invite you to read my book Fusion Experience where I give the complete framework to make it successful with different use cases that will inspire you.
Collaboration between Technologists and Designers imagined by DALL-E-2
Prompt: <a poster of a cyberpunk developer with a geek artist >
- Can you share any advice for designers and artists who are interested in exploring the intersection of AI and creativity? How can they get started and what resources do you recommend?
My main advice is to learn, learn, and never stop learning. Best way is to join channels related to AI and such new technologies; being exposed to the innovation will help open your curiosity to the maximum. Follow the Facebook group of my dear Matty Mariansky, עליית המכונות who is also experimenting the AI limits. The sky is not the limit and, only by experimenting, you will be able to understand the limitations of these technologies and also the infinite possibilities for creative people. There’s always more things to learn; be humble on this journey and understand that technologies that were key for our generation, like Google, Facebook, and LinkedIn, will soon be things of the past. Think twice about why Elon Musk acquired Twitter and how he is redefining the way we connect. Put in time to understand new apps such as TikTok; there’s a reason why your children are nuts about it. And just for your information, the next big thing is Roblox, and if you have not heard about this online gaming platform, its time to ask yourself some questions… We are in the Metaverse!
Just to quote Amely, the daughter of my dear friends Meital & Dubi and
“Minecraft is boring… There is no life without Roblox”
- As a leader in the AI community, what do you see as the biggest challenges and opportunities for AI makers in the near future? How can we ensure that AI is developed and used in an ethical and responsible way?
I’m optimistic and believe that the future of AI is dependent on us. AI makers create tools but we need to understand that AI has the ability to self-learn, even quicker than we think. That’s why we need to fuse experiences and connect between experts to discuss it, to define some rules. We will make mistakes and learn from that to create regulations like any technology. The ethical and responsible way depends on us and only on us, and some conversations will turn very philosophical. I do believe it can also help to save the world and give us the ability to connect even better.
ChatGPT solution to Climate Change Issue
- Finally, can you tell us about any exciting projects or initiatives that you’re currently working on or that you have coming up in the future? How can AI makers stay up-to-date with your work and get involved?
The most exciting project right now is that I started to work also with Space IL and I’m creating the visuals for the next BERESHEET II Mission to the Moon. I can not show you anything for the moment but I can promise you that it will be an amazing journey for Israel! Working also with Starburst Aerospace Accelerators around the world opened me many doors and gave me access to cutting-edge technologies thanks to IAI Innovation Center and programs such ASTRA. We are also launching Innoplaya,
A Metaverse For The New Space Age with Noemie Alliel and our A-Team.
So Let’s Fuse! Coming soon to a planet near you!