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HomeTechnologyFigma disables its AI design feature that appeared to be ripping off...

Figma disables its AI design feature that appeared to be ripping off Apple’s Weather app

Figma CEO Dylan Field says the company will temporarily disable its “Make Design” AI feature that was said to be ripping off the designs of Apple’s own Weather app. The problem was first spotted by Andy Allen, the founder of NotBoring Software, which makes a suite of apps that includes a skinnable Weather app and other utilities. He found by testing Figma’s tool that it would repeatedly reproduce Apple’s Weather app when used as a design aid.

Allen had taken to X, formerly Twitter, to accuse the company of “heavily” training its tool on existing apps — an accusation Field now denies.

The “Make Designs” AI feature was introduced at Figma’s Config conference last week, where the company explained that it was not trained on Figma content, community files, or app designs, notes Field in his response on X.

“In other words, the accusations around data training in this tweet are false,” he says.

The Make Design feature is available within Figma’s software and will generate UI (user interface) layouts and components from text prompts. Explained the company at the time of its launch, “Just describe what you need, and the feature will provide you with a first draft.”

The idea was that developers could use the feature to help get their ideas down quickly to begin exploring different design directions and then arrive at a solution faster, Figma said.

But in its haste to launch new AI features to remain competitive, the quality assurance work that should accompany new additions seems to have been overlooked.

Mirroring complaints in other industries, some designers immediately argued that Figma’s AI tools, like Make Design, would wipe out jobs by bringing digital design to the mass market, while others countered that AI would simply help to eliminate a lot of the repetitive work that went into design, allowing more interesting ideas to emerge.

Allen’s discovery that Figma seemed to essentially be copying other apps, however, led to increased concern among the design community.

“Just a heads up to any designers using the new Make Designs feature that you may want to thoroughly check existing apps or modify the results heavily so that you don’t unknowingly land yourself in legal trouble,” Allen warned others on X.

Field responded by clarifying that Make Design uses off-the-shelf LLMs (large language models), combined with “systems we commissioned to be used by these models.” He said the problem with this approach is that the variability is too low.

“Within hours of seeing [Allen’s] tweet, we identified the issue, which was related to the underlying design systems that were created,” Field wrote on X. “Ultimately it is my fault for not insisting on a better QA process for this work and pushing our team hard to hit a deadline for Config.”

Field says Figma will temporarily disable the Make Design feature until the team is confident that it can “stand behind its output.” The feature will be disabled as of today, Tuesday, July 2, and will not be re-enabled until Figma has completed a full QA pass on the feature’s underlying design system.

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