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Figma pulls AI tool after criticism that it ripped off Apple’s design

🌈 Abstract

The article discusses Figma's new generative AI tool "Make Designs" which was recently pulled after it generated designs that closely resembled Apple's iOS weather app. The article explores the issues around Figma's use of third-party AI models, their approach to AI training, and the company's plans to address the problems.

🙋 Q&A

[01] Figma's "Make Designs" Tool

1. What happened with Figma's "Make Designs" tool?

  • Figma's new "Make Designs" tool, which uses generative AI to quickly mock up app designs, was pulled after it generated designs that looked strikingly similar to Apple's iOS weather app.
  • Figma CEO Dylan Field acknowledged the issue and took responsibility for pushing the team to meet a deadline.

2. What did Figma say about the training of the AI models used in "Make Designs"?

  • Figma CTO Kris Rasmussen stated that Figma did not train the AI models used in "Make Designs" and that the tool was powered by "off-the-shelf models" and a "bespoke design system" they commissioned.
  • Rasmussen could not say for sure if the AI models were trained on Apple's app designs, suggesting the similarities may be due to the third-party models or the design system Figma used.

3. What are Figma's plans to address the issues with "Make Designs"?

  • Figma is doing a "pass over the bespoke design system to ensure that it has sufficient variation and meets our quality standards," which Rasmussen identified as the root cause of the issue.
  • Figma will take additional precautions before re-enabling "Make Designs" to ensure the feature meets their quality standards and is consistent with their values.
  • Rasmussen stated that Figma expects to re-enable "Make Designs" "soon" and that other Figma AI features will continue to be available in beta.

[02] Figma's Approach to AI Training

1. What are Figma's policies around AI training?

  • Figma introduced new AI training policies last week, which give users until August 15th to opt-in or opt-out of allowing their content to be used for Figma's AI training.
  • Starter and Professional plans are opted-in by default, while Organization and Enterprise plans are opted-out by default.

2. How does Figma plan to approach training their own AI models?

  • Rasmussen stated that Figma sees opportunities to "perfect your design workflows by teaching these models how to design in the context of Figma."
  • However, Figma wants to ensure that their own models or any fine-tuning of open-source models only learn "general design patterns and specific Figma design concepts" to make them better tools for professional designers.

3. How does Figma's approach compare to other companies' use of AI in creative tools?

  • The article notes that Figma is the latest company to come under scrutiny for its approach to bringing AI into creative tools, similar to issues faced by Adobe and Meta.
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