To AI or IA ?

Do Artificial Intelligence tools need an Information Architecture?

In his latest blog, Marc Stephenson, Director at Metataxis, takes a look at the AI hype.

We know that the world has gone mad about Artificial Intelligence, or AI, ChatGTP and many other systems.

According to Wikipedia: “By January 2023, it had become the fastest-growing consumer software application in history, gaining over 100 million users”. That’s impressive!

Not a day goes by when I don’t read an article telling me that AI will either cause the apocalypse or solve all human problems. Of course, the reality will probably much less exciting. Don’t get me wrong – these AI tools are very impressive. I studied AI in the 1990’s as part of my MSc, and back then we were “only a few years from a sentient AI”. That was a somewhat optimistic prediction, but it’s clear that ChatGPT for example, is very good at solving some kind of problems (for me, one of the things ChatGPT does very well is write clear, grammatically correct English).

Another kind of hype

The AI hype is very similar to the search engine hype from the noughties. Back then, Google would remove all need for Information Architecture (IA) and Information Management (IM). We’d just use search for everything, right? Er no. Human information and knowledge is bit more complex and nuanced than that.

Who remembers the “Google Search Appliance” hardware? Just plug it into your server room and job done. No need for this difficult information architecture malarky.

Again, er, no. The issue is that a tool’s result is only as good as the person who uses the tool and the context in which they use it. In other words – the creation of the data model, training set, user interface, and the many surrounding processes, procedures, controls and governance measures, are actually very important.

Google Search Appliance

And as for dealing with bias, now that’s a whole blog in itself. What I’m saying is that if AI tools are to revolutionise how we use information, they will need an IA.

Well, for a while yet they will…

Of course, if you have any questions about information architecture, simply contact us.