Published online by Cambridge University Press: 04 March 2020
Machines incorporating techniques from artificial intelligence and machine learning can work with human users on a moment-to-moment, real-time basis to generate creative outcomes, performances and artefacts. We define such systems collaborative, creative AI systems, and in this article, consider the theoretical and practical considerations needed for their design so as to support improvisation, performance and co-creation through real-time, sustained, moment-to-moment interaction. We begin by providing an overview of creative AI systems, examining strengths, opportunities and criticisms in order to draw out the key considerations when designing AI for human creative collaboration. We argue that the artistic goals and creative process should be first and foremost in any design. We then draw from a range of research that looks at human collaboration and teamwork, to examine features that support trust, cooperation, shared awareness and a shared information space. We highlight the importance of understanding the scope and perception of two-way communication between human and machine agents in order to support reflection on conflict, error, evaluation and flow. We conclude with a summary of the range of design challenges for building such systems in provoking, challenging and enhancing human creative activity through their creative agency.