Bringing AI Magic to Canva
In November last year, ChatGPT came into the world and promptly turned the tech industry on its head. A major search engine issued a code red, business models were in jeopardy and some stock prices halved. Advent of Code was won in 10 secs on Day 3 and every profession had its moment of “how vulnerable are we?” to the advancement of AI, where large language models are easily mistaken for generalised artificial intelligence.
Amidst all this chaos, companies scrambled to capitalise on the potential of AI, spinning up products and companies with near-indistinguishable landing pages. Web Directions resurrected its AI conference. And I, as a software PM in 2023, found myself at the doorstep of a new “AI is eating the world” moment, having missed the frontiers of software’s voracious appetite more than a decade ago.
This talk covers everything I learned bringing magic to Canva in Magic Design, an AI design tool. From first asking “What is GPT?” to launching a product mere months later, I’ll dive into how conventional development processes and the “wisdom” of experience are assumptions in disguise; explore the amorphous nature of usability, feasibility and viability in a fast-moving environment; and why at the end of the day, there’s still a need for Product Managers. Maybe.
Ivy Hornibrook is a Product Lead at Canva, where she looks after Magic Design, an AI-powered design tool that crafts the perfect starting point to bring design ideas to life.
Driven by a desire to create exceptional user value, Ivy is passionate about the potential of Generative AI to develop new, innovative solutions to user challenges. Prior to joining Canva, Ivy honed her skills in product development and technology at various early-stage startups spanning industries such as education, logistics, health, and eCommerce.
Active in the tech community, Ivy is also a highly respected product leader dedicated to creating pathways into product management for the next generation of product leaders.