Exploring biases between human and machine generated designs

Christian E. Lopez, Scarlett R. Miller, Conrad S. Tucker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


The objective of this work is to explore the possible biases that individuals may have toward the perceived functionality of machine generated designs, compared to human created designs. Toward this end, 1187 participants were recruited via Amazon mechanical Turk (AMT) to analyze the perceived functional characteristics of both human created two-dimensional (2D) sketches and sketches generated by a deep learning generative model. In addition, a computer simulation was used to test the capability of the sketched ideas to perform their intended function and explore the validity of participants' responses. The results reveal that both participants and computer simulation evaluations were in agreement, indicating that sketches generated via the deep generative design model were more likely to perform their intended function, compared to human created sketches used to train the model. The results also reveal that participants were subject to biases while evaluating the sketches, and their age and domain knowledge were positively correlated with their perceived functionality of sketches. The results provide evidence that supports the capabilities of deep learning generative design tools to generate functional ideas and their potential to assist designers in creative tasks such as ideation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number021104
JournalJournal of Mechanical Design - Transactions of the ASME
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1 2019

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Computer Graphics and Computer-Aided Design


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