Figma takes down its AI design tool after an embarrassing copying incident

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(Image credit: Shutterstock / thanmano)

Figma has temporarily disabled its new AI-powered design tool, Make Design, following accusations that it was replicating designs from Apple’s Weather app.

The issue was highlighted by NotBoring Software founder Andy Allen on X who discovered that the tool was producing designs remarkably similar to that of the Weather app on iOS.

Allen took to the social media platform to raise concerns about Figma’s tool being “heavily trained on existing apps,” something that Figma CEO Dylan Field denied.

Figma AI design tool taken offline

Having created three separate prompts, each with the same results, Allen concluded that the design tool had copied the Apple Weather app.

In response, Field shared: “the Make Design feature is not trained on Figma content, community files or app designs.”

Field blamed low variability from the off-the-shelf LLMs and commissioned design systems for the error, noting that the tool has been temporarily disabled until the company can “stand behind its output.”

Make Design, introduced at Figma’s recent Config conference, generated user interface layouts and components from text prompts. Promoted as a tool to help developers quickly draft and explore design ideas, Allen’s findings suggest that the tool may inadvertently reproduce existing app designs, raising a whole host of legal and ethical concerns.

Beyond Field’s comments, Figma has not shared any further information, and it’s unclear how long the tool will be offline for. Apple has not commented on the matter.

A signal to the broader concerns around generative AI, Allen said that designers using such tools should “thoroughly check existing apps or modify the results so that [they] don’t unknowingly land [themselves] in legal trouble.”

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