2/09/2015

AI Websites that Design Themselves #welcometothefuture


Making the process of building websites less complicated is a growth industry. Just look at the success of WordPress and Squarespace. Yet with all the templates and customization available from these platforms, it still leaves humans to do most of the decision-making—should you put that checkout button in the middle or top right? You'll need another app if you want to A/B test it and find the answer.

What if instead your website used machine learning to build itself, and then rebuilt as necessary, based on data it was gathering about how it was being used? That's what The Grid is aiming to do. After you add content such as pictures, text, and videos—the stuff everyone enjoys interacting with—your obligation to design anything ends.

"We want to make the experience more fun," says The Grid founder and CEO Dan Tocchini. "I think the key to that is focusing on the content. It's what all the people [users] do, just focus on the content."

The Grid advertises itself as "AI websites that design themselves." But what that really means is that through a lot of complicated technical work, Tocchini is trying to completely alleviate fundamental issues with web design for someone like your mom or dad.

When you create a website with The Grid it asks you to define a purpose for the content, whether that's gaining followers, getting clicks, video views, crowdfunding, or a handful of other options. The layout will adapt and change based on those goals. You can go from something personal to commercial by adding something to sell—the commerce elements will appear and disappear as needed.

Colors are picked out of the images that you upload, algorithmically ordered, and matched together. Shapes are added around certain types of content and images are cropped perfectly. You'll notice nobody's face goes missing on the pages. That's one of the hallmark features that Tocchini is visibly excited about, The Grid's ability to detect faces and, no matter how the image is resized, keep them visible...more