Artificial Intelligence Technology – Pros & Cons

By: Shirley E. Hammond, FASID, NCIDQ, RID

What is it?

Artificial intelligence is a branch of computer science that focuses on creating machines and software that think and act like humans. AI systems are designed to learn from their environment and make decisions based on what they learn. This means they can be used to automate processes, recognize patterns, use natural language processing (NLP), and even solve complex problems. AI is used in many different industries, from healthcare to manufacturing.

How does it “think?”

It uses algorithms.  An algorithm is a procedure used for solving a problem or performing a computation. Algorithms have exact lists of instructions that conduct specified actions, step-by-step, in either hardware or software-based applications.

So how does that differ from the template of an “old-school computer program?” From my research, I believe the answer is “it learns.”

Learning occurs in two ways: 

  • Supervised learning: learning with labeled data, or
  • Unsupervised learning: learning that allows exploration of data without any labels or guidance;

Both techniques enable an AI system to identify patterns in data and make predictions about future outcomes.

So, was Alan Turning’s 1930 presentation on the limitations of Artificial Intelligence correct when he said Artificial Intelligence “… can’t answer everything”….?

According to, there are 10 things that artificial intelligence cannot do:

  1. Common sense reasoning
  2. Understanding abstract concepts
  3. Creativity
  4. Emotions and consciousness
  5. Tasks involving complex, unstructured data
  6. Tasks requiring empathy and compassion
  7. Understanding context
  8. Tasks that require a lot of experience and intuition
  9. Tasks that require understanding and interpretation of idiomatic expressions
  10. Tasks that require common sense understanding of the physical world

Is this list still valid?  Is AI working through the list and able to accomplish some or all of these items, if not now, in the future?

General Implications

Potential applications of AI are virtually limitless. Automated processes to predictive analyses are possible.  For example, AI can provide customer service, self-drive cars, recognize faces and even diagnose medical conditions.  AI is continually advancing and becoming more innovative.  AI will revolutionize many industries. 

ID Implications

So how does AI affect our interior design profession? 

Currently, there are many AI interior design tools available on the market.  Some examples are DreamStudio, DiffusionBee, OpenArt, RoomGPT, Dall-E 2, Bing Image Creator, Fotor, AI Room Planner, etc.  In my review of some, it seems each requires human direction for its selections, often limited to solutions taken from projects that already exist.  Thus, are we partially protected from being replaced because of our creativity and innovative solutions? 

Jim VendeHei (Axios Finish Line, 5-18-23) states, AI can do “chores…research, sifting, analysis, idea generation, writing, editing, sorting, chart creation… but the big winners are creative thinkers.”   Additionally, Jim cites the importance of ethics, human connectivity, agility (the ability to think creatively), resilience (problem-solving when the solution takes a different direction) and protecting our information-consumption by knowing our sources and filtering out misinformation.

Pros / Cons

Here is a comparison of some of the pros and cons of AI:




Lack of Professional Touch


Limited Understanding of Design Nuances

User-friendly & Variety of Themes & Rooms

Potential Job Market Impact


Over-reliance on AI

So, are we in danger? 

The pros of AI include all the advantages of having tools that do our “chores” and don’t get tired.  However, scientists from across the spectrum are concerned that AI will “take over.”  Thus, global intervention and preventive guards are being sought, but slowly, according to many.  It is a race between aggressive business opportunities/gains and long-term safety/control of the process.  The world, in the short term, is envisioning the possibility of cyberattacks, scams, disinformation, surveillance and bias. 

CNN reported (5-31-23) that “dozens of industry leaders and academics in the field of artificial intelligence have called for greater global attention to the possible threat of ‘extinction from AI.’  A statement, signed by leading industry officials like OpenAI CEO Sam Altman and Geoffrey Hinton — the so-called ‘godfather’ of artificial intelligence — highlights wide-ranging concerns about the ultimate danger of unchecked AI.  Experts say humanity is still a way off from the prospect of science-fiction-like AI overlords, but the flood of hype and investment into the AI industry has led to calls for regulation now before any major mishaps occur. The growing AI arms race has already generated more immediate concerns. Lawmakers, advocacy groups and tech insiders have raised alarms about the potential for AI-powered language models like ChatGPT to spread misinformation and displace jobs. Sam Altman wants to see ‘…an international authority that can inspect systems, require audits, test for compliance with safety standards, and place restrictions on degrees of deployment’.”

Axios’ global tech correspondent, Ryan Heath, reports “an AI-related catastrophe likely will be needed before any international rulebook or organization begins regulating AI technologies.”

Microsoft vice chair president Brad Smith, appearing on CBS’ “Face the Nation,” when asked if he expects some regulation or legislation in the year ahead, said:  “I do. The world is moving forward. Let’s make sure that the United States at least keeps pace with the rest of the world.”

Sundar Pichai, Google’s CEO, told CBS 60 Minutes “he supports ‘global frameworks’ for managing AI.”

Axios (5-31-23):  Center for AI Safety (CAIS), a non-profit, stated the AI risk as follows:  a non-profit. “Our mission is to reduce societal-scale risks from artificial intelligence.”

AI experts, journalists, policymakers, and the public are increasingly discussing a broad spectrum of important and urgent risks from AI. Even so, it can be difficult to voice concerns about some of advanced AI’s most severe risks. The succinct statement below aims to overcome this obstacle and open up discussion. It is also meant to create common knowledge of the growing number of experts and public figures who also take some of advanced AI’s most severe risks seriously; “Mitigating the risk of extinction from AI should be a global priority alongside other societal-scale risks such as pandemics and nuclear war,” according to a long list of scientists and notable figures. Hopefully, an international authority will act quickly to ensure global safety for the evolving AI world.

In Conclusion

AI offers wonderful opportunities for efficiency both personally and professionally.  However, as with any invention, advantages should always be weighed against disadvantages.  You decide.  Is it worth it?

Shirley E. Hammond, FASID, NCIDQ, RID is the principal/owner of Perceptive Designs, LLC, Decatur, AL since 1979. She is a past president of Alabama ASID, co-author of the 2001 interior design practice act and a past international president of CIDQ.