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AI Interiors
AI Image, Made In Two Seconds With Two Prompts

What on earth is happening? Seriously, what on earth is going on with AI? Just the other day, I was scrolling through Instagram and stumbled upon about ten images of houses I had never seen before. As a lover of exquisite homes, I pride myself on keeping up with newly released properties and those rare personal Instagram posts that haven't yet been featured in a magazine. I usually send these finds to Charlie, hoping they can be used in Tatler. Sadly, those gems are few and far between, so my knowledge of houses is quite extensive.

When these 'magical' homes pop up on my feed, it takes me a moment—maybe two—to process. Then, I start to analyse the sheer audacity of the image before me. These homes are AI creations, or as the Instagram accounts call them, 'conceptual designs'. My frustration with these images runs deep. I've been thinking about why they irritate me so much and have identified a few reasons, none of which are promising.

First and foremost, I hate feeling deceived. Upon closer inspection, these images evoke an initial excitement, only for me to realise that they rely on the lowest common denominator—sickly sweet interiors, whimsical designs, homes built into rocks. The rush of endorphins ends as quickly as it started. You realise that it isn't the home of a writer, collector, potter or even a tax auditor. It is in fact, the workings of a computer, and yes, some well-meaning human vessel believes it is the creator of these images, but we all know that they are not. They are merely the dweeb who has taken it upon themselves to type in some hideously sickly prompt and thrown up some surface-level gratifying image. I know this for a fact because I spent five minutes on an AI generator website, uploading pictures that I love and altering them slightly. It was the least creative thing I've ever done. It's akin to calling yourself a cook after microwaving a meal. It's not design, and it certainly isn't art.

Secondly, many designers will use these programs as valuable tools for visualisation. I will address that later, but if these images are primarily being used on social media, it seems we've hit some sort of metaverse wall. It feels so horribly pointless—we're putting images on a platform for images, just to get likes and keep more people glued to said platform. Yes, you could say that the platform itself is pointless, and we do that with images already, but I know Charlie and many others can attest to the once-great utility of platforms like this. Not to mention the human behind those pictures, be it the homeowner, the photographer or the gardener. Using AI-generated content to keep us perpetually glued to our screens feels like living in a dreadfully dull yet terrifying episode of Black Mirror.

Thirdly, if one is using these images to present to a client, I do understand. Many of us are not blessed with vivid imaginations; some need things spelt out. So, gone are the days when a beautiful sketch by Nicky Haslam would suffice. Soon, clients will be insisting on full renderings down to the skirting board. And if the finished product doesn't look exactly like it did in the AI rendering, by god I'd hate to be in your size 8s. Not to mention, the excitement of the process is lost; seeing the finished project without even having popped the lid on a paint can is too depressing for words.

All in all, I apologise for this soapbox rant. I know it’s unhelpful to complain without offering a solution. I'm also open to being proven wrong. If this technology opens up a new world of design that doesn’t involve me sitting in a darkened room with a headset, then salut! But in the meantime, let’s celebrate the humans who live in these beautiful homes, the builders who create them, the photographers who capture them, and every human interaction in between.

Over and out, Paul.


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