What in the world do fashion and AI have in common? The short answer is- everything. The long answer is so much more intriguing. Mindful, vulnerable, and authentic might be words we think about when we think about art and fashion. But would you use those same words to describe AI? Probably not... or at least not yet, something Alex Maki-Jokela is working to change. Maki-Jokela is the founder of Spirit & Glitch, a ne hundred percent artist owned clothing and design company located in the heart of San Francisco.

First, Let's Talk About That Name

Spirit & Glitch is a company that experiments with AI often, and the result is clothing that is, not only made in the USA; but also well thought out, unique, and transcending the boundaries we often find with clothing brands in general. The pieces themselves cannot be easily duplicated, which brings us to a very important point. "Spirits are emergent flows of truth, beauty, love, possibility, and vitality. Glitches are a naturally occurring phenomena in which reality transcends boundaries, often in poetic or uncanny ways. We're into those sorts of experiences, and we design clothing for people who are also into those sorts of experiences."

Counteracting the Commonality of AI Fear

There is so much fear around the direction or possibility in artificial intelligence, and the reason is simply a lack of education because there is so much that is so new. Which is common as well, that society often rejects technological advances before they are accepted, so it's a great place to start a conversation about those fears, with one really important point: AI works best with human counterparts. It seems that a lot of the fear around machine learning is where that leaves human potential, especially in artistic expression and creative market. Realistically, AI presents a set of very technical tools that we can use as an extension of human skills and abilities.

AI Requires the Human Element + Energy

The highest levels of chess, I've been told, are played with human/AI hybrids because that's the most potent combination. They work better together than they do on their own individually. This is the conversation we should be having, to really dig into and build a different perspective around the possibilities, and the benefits.

Where fashion seeks exploration and creative freedom, AI provides a platform opening up unseen worlds pertaining to both exploration and freedom. Technology, in so many realms, does provide freedom when you think about it- and this, fashion, art, is no different. When you have new tools, new options, new paths to explore, new creative outlets, that is freedom to create.

Sustainability Is Here

Consumerism has made us heavily aware of the amount of waste and "things" that can pile up when everything is at our fingertips. With new technology, we can rethink the way in which we choose to consume. At Spirit & Glitch, everything is made-to-order, on demand, which reduces time, resources, barriers, and waste. This leaves more space for Maki-Jokela to create, and to create what people want, which will change our fashion industry forever.

Brands like Nike, Levi's Burberry, and Tommy Hilfiger are implementing AI in chatbots, personalized items, and even in clothing that tracks when you wear it and where you go in your garments. AI has already infiltrated so many aspects of how we get dressed, so the surface design seems the most natural progression. Aspiring artists, fashion entrepreneurs and creative tech enthusiasts will benefit massively as early adopters of the change that is inevitable.

Published on: May 22, 2019
The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.