Artificial intelligence will profoundly change how we work and what we create. Many fear that it will steal jobs, encroach on artistic output and strip creatives of livelihoods. But, as the gimmicky-side of AI loses the buzz, its power to enhance the creative process, complementing human creativity without taking the wheel, is increasingly being recognised. 

Undoubtedly (as the history of AI art has proved), artificial intelligence needs human intelligence. And, with the democratisation of this technology, offering increased access and speed, there must be a collective responsibility for balanced and thoughtful integration. AI should be seen as the paintbrush not the painter. For innovation, authenticity, empathy and true craft, the human touch will always be essential. 

Nearly 100 years ago, Graham Wallas wrote The Art of Thought, in which he amalgamated hundreds of interviews with eminent creatives at the time, including artists, musicians, architects but also mathematicians, scientists and engineers, asking them about their creative processes. From there, using phenomenological analysis, he said there are four broad stages (in no particular order): preparation, incubation, the “aha”, and verification. These states map quite nicely onto different mental states that can be characterised by signature brain patterns.