Codebots UX crew descends on Brisbane’s iconic Powerhouse to geek out on design

by Indi Tansey, Jun 14, 2017

The Design Conference Brisbane (#tdcbne17), hosted May 25-27 at Brisbane’s Powerhouse, delved into the lives of 12 internationally recognised creative leaders, exploring their philosophies to building successful careers, personal lives, side projects, and more. Between the talks, breakouts, and workshops, #tdcbne17 delivered some awesome insights and wow moments.
Presenting was a diverse group of women and men representing a wide range of backgrounds, including botpreneurs, commercial artists, typographers, solicitors, and VFX designers. There really was something for everyone.
 
We’re a little biased, but the Codebots crew couldn't get enough of Prue Jones who talked about AI and the future of design.
 
Prue got the ball rolling with some audience participation. Over 300 people weighed in on the questions most of whom identified as designers.
Most designers think AI will be net positive, but many baulked at the idea of connecting a chip to their brains. Fair enough if you ask me. 
 
Then Prue blew everyone’s mind with a (simple) quote by Matthew Bishop.
“The pace of change is accelerating, and it’s a design problem,” Prue said. This echoed ideas that appeared in Dean Poole and Mike Rigby’s talks—“all logic is algorithmic,” and so math-based AI is swallowing logic-based tasks. This is why “human creativity is needed now more than ever.” We need to embrace Human Centered Design and improve Human Experience (HX). A new system to match changing times.

We went to the conference to keep up with trends in the design community and to gauge what designers think of Codebots.
 
The Codebots vision is to democratise app development by employing bots to help write code, so smaller, more agile teams of developers, designers, and creative people can build awesome things.
 
With a code-writing robot sidekick, designers will be able to get creative and build apps. No barriers! Or so that’s the idea, but what do creators actually think?
 
Well, going into #tdcbne17 a lot of designers didn’t know much about AI or how it could change how we do design or how much we need design. (Luckily, Prue, Dean, and Mike’s talks helped to convince many that bots are a big deal.) This made for some interesting conversations.

The idea is not to replace developers or designers with code-writing bots, but to team them up with the codebots instead!

Dean’s masterpiece of a talk (which earned a 4.98-star rating on the #tdcbne17 app) had us all in stitches. His hilarious 365 days of shirts experiment, where he wore a black shirt with the day’s date in white lettering each day for a whole year, was creative genius.
And when he wasn’t making us laugh, he was leaving us gaping in awe. His award-winning work with the Silo Theatre was, in his own words, “just riffing on an idea like how a jazz musician riffs chords.” What happens when you take away a model's face? Let's find out.

Codebotters-Isha Black and Mitchell Tweedie-bumped into Dean during the intermission and asked his thoughts on Codebots and our vision, mission, values.

Like a lot of other designers we spoke with, Dean showed interest in knowing how Codebots would help people collaborate. Codebots isn’t Sci-Fi, Isha explained but a platform where humans and bots work alongside each other. Where the strengths of one can complement the strengths of the other.

The next big hit was Mike Rigby, who absolutely smashed it out of the park with insights on design in 2017 and beyond.
Mike echoed a theme touched on by speakers Nadia Hernández and Lauren Hom: exploration. Artists need freedom and want to try and experience new things. R/GA’s BotBot project is an attempt to democratise chatbots by streamlining the bot building process. Similar to Codebots, which democratises app development. Very cool talk.

Everyone had an amazing time, and we're all looking forward to #tdcbne18!
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