On July 14, 2023, 10:00 AM (EDT, US & Canada) Prof. Jianxi Luo (Singapore University of Technology & Design), presented the JCISE July 2023 Spotlight Talk on his paper, “Generative Transformers for Design Concept Generation,” J. Comput. Inf. Sci. Eng. Aug 2023, 23(4): 041003 https://doi.org/10.1115/1.4056220, co-authored with Qihao Zhu.
Generating novel and useful concepts is essential during the early design stage to explore a large variety of design opportunities, which usually requires advanced design thinking ability and a wide range of knowledge from designers. Growing works on computer-aided tools have explored the retrieval of knowledge and heuristics from design data. However, they only provide stimuli to inspire designers from limited aspects. This study explores the recent advance of the natural language generation (NLG) technique in the artificial intelligence (AI) field to automate the early stage design concept generation. Specifically, a novel approach utilizing the generative pretrained transformer (GPT) is proposed to leverage the knowledge and reasoning from textual data and transform them into new concepts in understandable language. Three concept generation tasks are defined to leverage different knowledge and reasoning: domain knowledge synthesis, problem-driven synthesis, and analogy-driven synthesis. The experiments with both human and data-driven evaluation show good performance in generating novel and useful concepts.