Kevin Kelly recently wrote about a new era in artificial intelligence (AI), saying:
There is almost nothing we can think of that cannot be made new, different, or interesting by infusing it with some extra IQ. In fact, the business plans of the next 10,000 startups are easy to forecast: Take X and add AI. This is a big deal, and now it’s here.
And it looks like someone is taking that course with website design.
The company doing so is The Grid, and its theory is reasonable: Enable AI with the heuristics of web design, provide users with a limited set of knobs to turn, and analyze the content — text, images, colors, video — that users provide, and push out dynamic and attractive websites. Instead of the text-based themes used in other publishing tools, the site uses the priorities of the website, like sales or crowdfunding, to determine the layout. It’s more like applying a filter to an image that web template hacking.
The company founders think that they have cracked the code, at least for content heavy or portfolio sites. The Grid raised money initially through a crowdfunding earlier this year, and raised an additional seed round of $3.1 million, and a series A of $4.6 million in December 2014.
CEO Dan Tocchini and his team have been working on this for a few years, and plan to offer an e-commerce capability in late 2015. People can preregister for the service now to lock in the founder rate of $25/month, which will be more expensive once the product is launched in the spring.
Some of those who have seen the product in its unreleased state wonder if it will be oriented toward blogging or news sites, as other publishing platforms are.
This represents another incursion of AI, but into the creative world of website design. When will we be reading about AI be designing apps? The AI called Emily Howell writes beautiful music: You can even buy her album From Darkness, Light on iTunes and Spotify.
So now that AI is moving into the creative side, where will the creatives wind up?