Is artificial intelligence really the enemy of original thinking?

Harold Cohen (1928–2016) would not have said so. Having made his name as a successful painter in London in the 1950s and ’60s, Cohen moved to San Diego and embarked on what would become his life’s work: AARON, a computer programme that could take specially written computer code and, when connected to special automated pens and brushes, could create original artwork.

While many may see artificial intelligence (AI) as a threat to creativity and originality, Cohen’s work with AARON proves otherwise. This raises important questions about the potential future trends related to AI and its impact on industries such as art, design, and creative thinking.

The Rise of AI in Art and Design

The integration of AI technologies in art and design is already gaining momentum. AI algorithms are being utilized to generate unique and innovative designs that were previously thought to be the realm of human creativity. Artists and designers are exploring the capabilities of AI systems to push the boundaries of their own work.

AI-powered tools such as deep learning algorithms and generative adversarial networks (GANs) enable artists to create art that is not only aesthetically pleasing but also thought-provoking. These systems analyze vast amounts of data and learn patterns that can be used to generate new ideas and concepts.

AI as a Partner, Not an Enemy

Contrary to popular belief, AI is not replacing human creativity; it is becoming a valuable partner in the creative process. Rather than stifling original thinking, AI can provide artists and creators with new perspectives and inspiration.

AARON, for example, acted as a collaborator for Cohen, helping him explore new artistic territories and challenging his own preconceived notions. The program’s algorithms could generate suggestions and variations that Cohen could use as a starting point for his artwork, pushing him to think outside the box.

By embracing AI as a partner, artists and designers can tap into its vast knowledge and computational power to enhance their own creativity. AI can assist in idea generation, provide real-time feedback on design choices, and even automate repetitive tasks, giving artists more time to focus on the conceptualization and execution of their ideas.

Potential Future Trends and Recommendations

The future of AI in art and design is promising, with several potential trends that may shape the industry:

  1. AI-generated art exhibitions: As AI algorithms become more refined, we can expect to see dedicated exhibitions showcasing AI-generated artwork. These exhibitions would not only celebrate the fusion of human and machine creativity but also challenge our perception of what constitutes art.
  2. AI-augmented creative tools: Tools that integrate AI capabilities, such as intelligent brushes or design assistants, will become increasingly prevalent. These tools will provide artists and designers with instant access to vast libraries of reference materials, style guides, and creative inspiration.
  3. Ethical considerations: As AI becomes more involved in the creative process, ethical considerations will arise. Questions regarding authorship, ownership, and the role of AI in artistic expression will need to be addressed to ensure fair and responsible use of these technologies.

In order to navigate these potential future trends effectively, the industry should consider the following recommendations:

  • Embrace interdisciplinary collaborations: Encouraging collaborations between artists, designers, and AI experts can lead to innovative breakthroughs and the exploration of new possibilities.
  • Invest in AI education: Providing education and training opportunities for artists and designers to learn about AI technologies will empower them to leverage these tools effectively and incorporate them into their creative processes.
  • Promote AI literacy: Increasing public awareness and understanding of AI in art and design will help dispel misconceptions and encourage broader acceptance of AI as a valuable creative tool.

By embracing AI as a creative partner, the art and design industry can unlock new avenues of exploration and redefine the boundaries of human creativity. With careful consideration and responsible use, AI can enhance, rather than hinder, original thinking.


  • “Artificial Intelligence and Creativity: The Role of AI in Art and Design” –
  • “Exploring the Intersection of Art and Artificial Intelligence” –
  • “AI in Art and Creativity: A Feasible Solution in Education, Prototyping, and Curation” –