Microsoft A.I. can code your website from a freehand sketch

Microsoft A.I. can code your website from a freehand sketch

NEWSBYTE Evidence that artificial intelligence (AI) is infusing even the most common applications comes with the news that Microsoft has developed Sketch2Code, an AI-powered Web design tool that, the company says, converts hand-drawn webpage mockups into functional HTML markups.

In short, if you can sketch it, Microsoft’s AI can build it, and the aim is to offer the service as part of the Azure Cloud platform and suite of services.

“Once you have drawn these wireframes on a whiteboard, you can take a picture using the Web app and then the app would send that information to the AI service,” explained Tara Shankar Jana, senior product manager at Microsoft AI in a video.

“The AI service then runs those images against the prebuilt AI model and then creates an HTML codebase followed by a resulting app.”

Internet of Business says

The move is also evidence that few careers will escape the clutches of AI augmentation (Microsoft’s strategic aim for its cognitive technologies) or replacement – as would appear to be the case here; at least, it changes the core nature of Web design work.

But will it lower the bar for wannabe designers, or simply lower the standards of design itself – as happened in the early years of desktop publishing? We wait to see if AI will remove the grunt work from design, or simply give birth to a new generation of websites that look like a doodle on the back of an envelope.

Chris Middleton
Chris Middleton is former editor of Internet of Business, and now a key contributor to the title. He specialises in robotics, AI, the IoT, blockchain, and technology strategy. He is also former editor of Computing, Computer Business Review, and Professional Outsourcing, among others, and is a contributing editor to Diginomica, Computing, and Hack & Craft News. Over the years, he has also written for Computer Weekly, The Guardian, The Times, PC World, I-CIO, V3, The Inquirer, and Blockchain News, among many others. He is an acknowledged robotics expert who has appeared on BBC TV and radio, ITN, and Talk Radio, and is probably the only tech journalist in the UK to own a number of humanoid robots, which he hires out to events, exhibitions, universities, and schools. Chris has also chaired conferences on robotics, AI, IoT investment, digital marketing, blockchain, and space technologies, and has spoken at numerous other events.