AI Can’t Match Human Originality In Fashion Design

AI could help designers in their creative process by taking care of repetitive tasks, allowing more time for them to engage in complex and original thinking.

AsianScientist (Jan. 31, 2023) – A recent study comparing human and AI-generated fashion designs found that humans have an edge over computers. The fashion industry has recently begun to embrace artificial intelligence to personalise fashion recommendations for customers, optimise supply chain management, automate processes, and improve sustainability to reduce waste. Globally, artificial intelligence in fashion generated 270 million US Dollars in 2018, and the market is expected to reach 4.4 billion US Dollars by 2027.

According to a 2019 survey by McKinsey and Company, most fashion executives whose companies have adopted AI report that the technology has provided an uptick in their business revenue. However, creative thinking process in fashion design continue to be largely driven by humans, and not much research exists on using AI for the same.

Yoon Kyung Lee, assistant professor at Pusan National University in South Korea, wanted to explore in what areas in fashion humans are better than AI, and “could there be an effective collaboration between humans and AI for creative design?” The study was published in Thinking Skills and Creativity.

In the study, Lee created novel textile designs using AI models called Deep Convolution Generative Adversarial Networks (DC-GANs) and Cycle-GANs. Then she compared these designs with designs produced by fashion students. The comparison revealed that although the designs produced by both GANs and humans were similar in some areas, the designs by human were more diverse and unique.

“Humans intuitively found unique ways of constructing and applying ideas to their designs,” the study stated.

The study also demonstrated that AI can help designers in the creative process by taking care of repetitive tasks, freeing up more time for designers to focus on complex creative process, thereby making the whole process efficient.

Moreover, integrating AI could also open up opportunities for non-professionals to create their designs. “So far, only professional fashion designers have been able to design and showcase clothes. But in the future, it will be possible for anyone to design the clothes they want and showcase their creativity,” says Lee.

Lee also established a human-AI model in which designers can collaborate with AI to create novel designs. If designers share their creative process and ideas with other designers and AI systems, the whole AI system can interconnect and evolve, thus improving its designs.

Human-AI collaborative design environments require designers to set objectives, variables, and limits. Consequently, their work should extend beyond visuals. This can be used to foresee changes in the fashion industry and offer recommendations and co-creation services.

Source: Pusan National University ; Image: Shelly Liew/ Asian Scientist Magazine

The article can be found at How complex systems get engaged in fashion design creation: Using artificial intelligence

Disclaimer: This article does not necessarily reflect the views of AsianScientist or its staff.


Asian Scientist Magazine is an award-winning science and technology magazine that highlights R&D news stories from Asia to a global audience. The magazine is published by Singapore-headquartered Wildtype Media Group.

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