According to this article Xerox is currently developing:
…automated document design software that takes the text, graphics, and other elements that might be parts of a complex document and flows them iteratively into example page layouts.
Users can define rules such as corporate colours, logos etc, and the software will come up with what IT perceives as the best designs.
So some software could be making design choices in the near future. I don’t like the idea of software essentially telling people that good design can only be achieved by following certain formulas. I can just see it now. Bigbad Co has fired their graphics department leaving it all up to the most junior person in the company and this software. This person is now dubbed the whatever-they-are-AND-graphics-guy. (His first task might be to design himself some new business cards – possibly.) Guy inputs photos, text and diagrams and lets the software do it’s magic. He presents 3 designs to Bigbad Co. I can see a couple of different scenarios here. a) Bigbad Co loves ’em all because a computer can’t be wrong, or b) Bigbad Co asks for a gazillion changes and ends up spending hours hitting the “design it” button until they get the design “they” think is right.
On the other hand it could turn out to be a valuable time saver for when you want to see a certain design applied to say different page sizes or orientation.
Xerox are also looking at developing it for other media such as web and PDA.