Achieving Balance Between AI and Human Authority and Empowerment in UX Design :: UXmatters

Leveraging the Benefits of Automation: Lessons from Cobots

Automation and artificial intelligence (AI) have revolutionized several industries, with Cobots being one of the most successful implementations in the manufacturing domain. Cobots, or Collaborative Robots, work alongside human workers to perform tasks that are hazardous, tiring, or repetitive. This not only reduces human fatigue and the risk of injuries but also improves the overall productivity of the manufacturing process. However, even with the success of Cobots, there are still several risks to consider and ethical implications to address. Let’s delve deeper into the topic and see how UX professionals can leverage the benefits of AI in a more controlled and assistive manner.

Collaborative Robots: A Great Example of Blending Human and Artificial Intelligence

Cobots operate in a shared space with human workers and assist them in the “dirty, dangerous, and dull” work. They are generally more affordable and easier to integrate than fully automated robots, making them desirable for smaller manufacturers. Unlike fully automated robots, Cobots don’t require restrictive zoning and can operate alongside humans without the need for expanded security measures. Further, Cobots are a great example of how the human and artificial intelligence blend can work together to improve efficiency and reduce work-related risks.

Understanding the Risks of Blending Automation with Human Interactions

While automation and AI have significant benefits, the risks and ethical implications must not be ignored. The automotive industry has been grappling with the balance of human and autonomous driving for years. While we have not yet reached level-five autonomous driving, the current technology still requires a human driver to know when to cede control to the automated system. Due to the current gaps in the technology, the risk of relying solely on AI to perform tasks is still significant. Therefore, it’s essential to exercise patience and prudence before implementing more significant applications of AI.

Exercising Patience and Prudence Regarding Bigger Applications of AI

Technology leaders have urged a pause on the development of powerful AI systems due to the risks and uncertainties associated with the technology. There are ethical and societal considerations to keep in mind, and we must be prepared to handle the human costs associated with technology advancements. The data and training required to develop AI systems are often flawed, leading to insufficient or false outputs. It’s crucial to let the technology grow gradually and improve upon its narrower applications before implementing it on a broader scale.

How UX Designers Can Leverage AI

While the benefits of AI are apparent, the risks and ethical implications are not ignorable. Therefore, UX professionals must be cautious and scope the application of AI to specific use cases to have more control and aid. Here are a few ways UX designers can leverage AI effectively.

Assisting With Iterative UX or UI Design

AI can assist designers with iterative UX or UI design by refining a design using a template cultivated through UX research and design methods.

Accepting Raw UX Research Results and Providing Analysis

AI can provide a detailed analysis of the raw UX research results, which could offer better requirements for what to do next. Experienced UX researchers can review these findings before presenting the formal report or analysis to stakeholders.

Conducting a Cognitive Walkthrough of a Workflow

If enough evidence regarding the workflow’s steps is provided, AI can provide additional analysis that UX professionals can leverage to conduct their walkthroughs and uncover issues that humans might have missed.

Constructing a Style Guide or Full Design System

AI can construct a style guide or even a full design system, complete with code, which can guide the development of a system and save a team significant amounts of time.

Enabling Users to Discover or Interact With Content in Different Ways

AI can facilitate the discovery of existing content in different ways, such as language models, to provide answers based on the myriad articles, presentations, and videos.

Offloading Repetitive Design Specification Work

AI can assist with the development of a mockup and provide annotations for developers to help them implement the design correctly.

Supplementing Design-Thinking Workshops or Brainstorming Sessions

AI can generate additional ideas that would fuel divergent thinking, supplementing design-thinking workshops or brainstorming sessions.


Automation and AI can significantly improve the productivity of industries, but the potential risks and ethical implications must be addressed. UX designers can leverage AI to their advantage, but they must be careful in scoping the applications. AI can assist designers in UX and UI design, provide analysis of research findings, conduct a cognitive walkthrough, create design systems, and improve on design thinking. With proper precautions and a controlled approach, AI can have several benefits for UX designers and the manufacturing industry.

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