Preparing Youth for a Future with AI: The Benefits and Implications for Graphic Designers

Written by: Mbir Kwesi | Creative Director, Reaga Right

On May 27th, we held our monthly session with a group of amazing youth campers. Since November, we have been meeting once a month to stay connected and learn from each other. Last month, Ama Duncan spoke on etiquette, and this month, I was tasked with teaching the group about graphic design using Adobe Illustrator. Our study was a continuation of what we began in August 2022.

Instead of the usual hands-on using Illustrator, My topic of discussion is the remarkable advances made in Artificial Intelligence (AI) and how it is affecting society. AI has become more powerful, and Graphic Designers are concerned about its impact on their livelihood. I shared the benefits of AI and showed the 39 campers videos demonstrating its implementation in various industries, such as agriculture and medicine. We watched videos of how AI is being implemented in every industry, from Art to Manufacturing, including self-driving taxis in San Francisco and Amazon Go, a new type of store with no queues and no checkout. We even took the opportunity to experiment with creating the Fab Youth Camp anthem using ChatGPT, and we also created an image using ChatGPT’s image generator, with a simple one-liner: “Market woman selling tomatoes in Ghana.”

The outcome wasn’t perfect, but 12 years ago, when I started my journey as a graphic designer, creating such an image would have taken months, if not years.

While the impact of AI on the workforce is concerning, many people misunderstand AI’s role. One student raised a genuine concern about the fact that AI will make us lazy. I admit he is not alone in thinking this way. I explained that AI is not here to make us lazy, but to make our work more efficient. Therefore, it is essential that we shift our mindset to see AI as a tool to complement human skills.

This training is part of an effort to introduce young people to how AI is rapidly changing industries. It is vital to help them rethink their future professions and careers. The partnership between educational establishments and individuals, such as myself, is essential for encouraging AI literacy. The exciting future ahead requires this collective effort to prepare for what’s to come.

In his article, AI will take some jobs, but mass unemployment isn’t inevitable Erin Ling wrote “As computers grew in popularity and typing became easier, the demand for typists fell away, and the profession nearly became extinct. But thanks to the same trends, the demand for web designers, graphic designers, and copy editors increased. The advent of the computer gave birth to countless sectors and transformed our way of life (mostly) for the better. I believe that AI can repeat this very trick if we get it right.”

By helping young people learn more about AI and its benefits, we can ensure that they are equipped to make the right choices about their future careers.

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