AI for Creatives

Silka Sietsma
7 min readMay 5, 2018
By AI artist, Memo Akten

As we try to define what it means to be a designer using AI technologies, I want to share great reading list, on the ground learnings and a designers perspective. Please feel add your current resources and how they helped you throughout this post. Enjoy…

“Machine learning (more broadly, AI) is the new frontier for all digital designers. What’s the application for machine learning in your organization, or for your client company? What would you design if you could detect patterns in anything — and act on them?” Josh Clark of Big Medium

AI 101

These resources (not in order) are a good place to start learning about AI and the role of a designer.

AI UX: 7 Principles of Designing Good AI Products AI and machine learning products need very careful designing. In this article, David will go through the seven basic AI UX principles products should follow. Written by Dávid Pásztor

Designing with AI Behind the scenes, AI helps make Facebook smarter and easier to use. This article breaks down how that happens. Written by Erica Virtue.

AI and the Future of Design In the latest installment of the series on AI and Design, Rob Girling argues that designers may well provide the missing link between AI and humanity. Written by Rob Girlinga, Artefact

Human-Centered Machine Learning 7 steps to stay focused on the user when designing with ML. Written by Jess Holbrook

Machine Learning is Very Much a UX Problem This is part 5 of the 6-part tutorial, The Step-By-Step PM Guide to Building Machine Learning Based Products. Written by Yael Gavish

The Evolution of Tools Closing the loop with Design Intelligence by Jon Gold, a Design Technologist at Airbnb, researching ways to use technology to get us to look at screens less.

Designing with Artificial Intelligence: The Dinosaur on a Surfboard Special guest Josh Clark joins the show to talk about the implications of artificial intelligence on design and how designers can start to understand and influence the capabilities and limitations of these incredibly complex systems. Podcast from August 25th, 2017 · 40 minutes

AI 101 in depth…

Rethinking Design Tools in the Age of Machine Learning. Patrick Hebron brilliantly explains how good AI design tools can enhance out expressivity, without taking creative control. Oh, and he wrote a book!

CreativeAI, an in-depth investigation, of what they call “CreativeAI”

Playing with AI

A great way to for me to learn is by tapping my curiosity and start playing. Here are a couple of links.

Emoji Scavenger Hunt is a fun mobile browser ML based Emoji game. Lots more at Google Experiments.

Google’s Teachable Machine is a free online experiment that lets you play with machine learning in your web browser, using your webcam as an input to train a machine learning model of your very own — no programming experience required. More insights by PAIR.

Making AI Experiments (with no/limited coding)

There are VERY limited courses for designers, who don’t want to write AI algorithms, but believe designers have a vital role to play in AI. If you know of more courses, please share them with us.

Beginner Online ML Course by Rebecca Fiebrink. Wekinator allows anyone to use machine learning to build new musical instruments, gestural game controllers, computer vision or computer listening systems, and more.

Google’s AutoML is a new up-and-coming (alpha stage) cloud software suite of Machine Learning tools for those with little understanding of ML.

DIY artificial intelligence Google wants to put AI into the maker toolkit, to help you solve real problems that matter to you and your communities.

Lobe is a online AI tool that lets you teach apps, to see emotion, hear music, feel movement. or whatever…without code (and with code if you are so inclined). I’m LOVIN’ this tool.


Here is a list of thoughtful and inspiring approaches to AI UX. What frameworks/principles/methodologies/whatever inspire your startup/organization?

Approaches to AI Ethics

A people’s Bill of Rights for personalization The design process for a sustainable and human-centered AI system starts with respecting each person as the author of their own story. Written by Josh Lovejoy.

Google, Apple, Amazon, Google’s DeepMind, Microsoft, Facebook, and IBM — set up a research group called the Partnership on AI, but what are they saying individually? Here’s what I could find…
* DeepMinds AI Ethics and Principles
* Goolge’s 7 AI Principles, Inclusive ML Guide and Responsible AI Practices
* Microsoft’s Approach to AI
* IBM’s code of conduct for AI & Chatbots
* Unity’s Guiding Principles for Ethical AI
* Axon Launches First AI Ethics Board
* Apple’s POV Data Laws & Privacy
* Facebook’s Margaret Stewart on AI Responsibilities

AI Now Institute wrote a ‘Practical Framework for Public Agency and Accountability’ examining the social implications of artificial intelligence.

OpenAI is a non-profit AI research company, discovering and enacting the path to safe artificial general intelligence.

HAI — Humans in AI A design framework for AI systems, with an appreciation for ethics, technology adoption and job creation. Manual

5 Concrete Changes to the Tech Industry Joe Edelman explains how companies like Facebook and Twitter are admitting they need to make big changes. Here’s where they should start.

AI Design Methods

The Taro Cards of Tech These cards prompt you to think about the impact of AI design decisions. Thank you Artefact.

Testing AI concepts in User Research Chris Butler from Philosophie share their methods to validate intelligent algorithms to solve real world problems.

AI Inspiration

Here is a few interesting uses of AI amongst an endless list.

  • Google Clips In this episode, Aidan Simpson interviews UX Designer Josh Lovejoy on the design process behind the Google Clips camera, building user trust in ‘magical’ products, and using UX to help people feel more in the moment.
  • Writer Bots The Washington Post, has a bot writing actual news articles for stories with relatively simple narratives. These are assembled by Heliograf, the Post’s artificial intelligence system, which maps data to templates of pre-written phrases tuned for horse-race stories like political contests or sporting events (“In a stunning turn of events…”).
  • Slack ML Feature just launched a feature for big teams that help you find people who talk about certain topics. This is machine learning that helps you find experts in your organization.
  • Perspective is an API that uses machine learning to spot abuse and harassment online and help stop it.

AI People

Ok, I’ve fallen love with work AI studios & AI artists have been creating. I hope you do too.


In the last two years, we’ve seen big-time industry backing and lofty goals set to change the way we approach AI. There are many programs being led by women. Women like Fei-Fei Li at Stanford, Kate Crawford, Director of Microsoft’s AI Now Institute, Terah Lyons, heading up Partnership for AI, and even Michelle Obama supporting Olga Russakovsky, co-founder of AI4ALL to education women in AI during high-school, just to name a few. I am excited for what’s ahead and what we will accomplish when we embrace diversity in ideas.

AI Studios

Støj is a Copenhagen-based creative agency. Interaction designers and creative coders work with machine learning and physical computing. Støj was started in 2017 by Andreas Refsgaard and Lasse Korsgaard.

Use All Five is a Los Angeles-based design & technology agency started 2006 by Levi Brooks and Jason Farrell. Client project: Google’s Teachable Machine

M ss ng P eces / NYC is the new wave production and entertainment company inspired by the limitless potential of storytelling and technology.

AI Artists

Artists in Machine Intelligence is a long-term collaboration between artists and thinkers, researchers, engineers, and, of course, the machine intelligences these researchers and engineers are building. Founded and run by Blaise Aguera y Arcas leads Google’s AI group in Seattle.

Memo Akten is an artist who trained under Rebecca Fiebrink. His beautiful work studies the interplay of nature x science x technology x ethics x ritual x tradition x religion. Doing PhD AI/ML & expressive human-machine interaction.

Mario Klingemann is an artist and a skeptic with a curious mind. His preferred tools are neural networks, code and algorithms. His interests are manifold and in constant evolution, involving artificial intelligence, deep learning, generative and evolutionary art, glitch art, data classification and visualization or robotic installations. If there is one common denominator it’s his desire to understand, question and subvert the inner workings of systems of any kind.

Refik Anadol is a media artist and director born in Istanbul, Turkey in 1985. Currently lives and works in Los Angeles, California.

Ian Cheng is an American artist known for his live simulations that explore the nature of mutation and human behavior.

Edward Saatchi is one of the founding members of Oculus Story Studio spent years exploring how VR can be used to make narratives more immersive. But with Fable Studio, his latest Reality outfit, Saatchi has using AI to help him rediscover story telling.

Luba Elliott, Curator, artist and researcher specializing in artificial intelligence in the creative industries.

MX3D Bridge

Joris Laarman and MX 3D used AI to design a bridge, robotically 3D printed it until it was finished, without human intervention.

For artists working with code, Kyle McDonald is a legend.

More super interesting AI artists: Tom White, Hannah Davis, Addie Wagenknecht, Samim Winiger.

Thank you to Anisha Jain for inspiring this resource; Patrick Hebron, Brian Zhang, and Dan Shiffman for making your list available.