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Creative AI Demonstrator Project

Image from the ImprovBot project. Credits: Artist: Rudolf Ammann. Other project members: Melissa Terras and Gavin Inglis

The Creative AI Demonstrator Project, funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) and the Department for Culture Media and Sport (DCMS), is exploring the potential for using AI, and specifically Creative AI, in the creative industries in Scotland. In addition to looking at Creative AI more broadly, we are also running a funding call for rapid turnaround Creative AI Music & Audio Pilot Projects.

The Creative AI Demonstrator project expands on some of the fantastic work we’ve seen over the last 5 years of Creative Informatics – both projects we’ve engaged with, and work we see emerging from the wider creative community across Scotland. Now we want your help to shape what we could do to support new ideas and innovations from the creative industries with AI.

Why now?

We have been watching the development of Creative AI – which rests upon the use of data and data driven innovation in the creative industries – for some time. Back in 2021 we wrote about the potential for Creative AI for the CRAIC blog and we have since seen a huge increase in interest and projects using AI across Creative Informatics and the wider creative industries. We have a particular interest in the ethical use of AI and have been excited to see how Scotland’s AI Strategy is encouraging responsible and ethical use of these technologies.

Additionally, Creative AI has been much more visible – and coming into widespread public use – over the last six months, due to the availability of Large Language Models (particularly ChatGPT), and generative AI tools such as the text to image platforms DALL:E 2 and MidJourney. These tools raise real challenges for the creative industries around creativity, originality, intellectual property, and ethics. However, AI including generative AI, also has huge potential as a tool for creative work, as part of an ideation process, and as a way to experiment, particularly when these tools are in the hands of creatives, and used in an ethical and appropriate way. We’ve seen some great local examples of this coming through exploratory projects like Martin Disley’s Resident Entrepreneur project with the National Library of Scotland, the fantastic art works emerging from The New Real, as well as innovative start-ups emerging from our cluster, such as DataMind Audio’s ground-breaking music production work (as recently showcased on Mr Bill’s Podcast #120), through to the lively improv AI session run by Abandoman (aka Rob Broderick) at our most recent CI Lab 23: Festival Futures.

We think there is far more potential for AI and machine learning (ML) in creative work, whether that’s using AI behind the scenes to support much more strategic use of data, to enable work to be made in new and/or more efficient ways, to work with much larger datasets than have been possible before, or to help discovery, search and use. We particularly want to explore Creative AI in music and sound, an area we see creatives in Scotland having particularly strong expertise and start-up ideas in – whether coming from music production, filmmaking, gaming, work with voices and speech, work with audio archives, and wider perspectives.

What happens next?

Over the coming months we will be running a survey (May-July), scoping workshops, and a new funding call (closing 23rd June) that will help us understand the potential for Creative AI. In particular we want to understand what kinds of support, training, advice, funding, etc. might enable innovation in this space, particularly in Scotland. We will be publishing a report at the end of the project but we will also be using our research to inform future discussion with funders around the needs of the creative sector in Scotland.

We welcome any questions or comments you may have about this project, and you can find out how to take part below.

Help us explore the potential for Creative AI in Scotland


Apply to our Pilot projects call for Music and Audio use of Creative AI

Our Creative AI Music & Audio Pilot Projects Call is now open. In this call, open to all creatives in Scotland, we are looking to support small scale rapid R&D projects that explore Creative AI in the context of music and audio. We are asking for proposals up to £5k, and are hoping to fund 10 projects through this call which will create new Minimum Viable Products (MVPs). An MVP is an early, basic version of a product that demonstrates minimum necessary requirements and enables you to validate a product idea. We welcome both initial development of new products and services, as well as new kinds of creative experiences.

Want to know more? Join the Creative Informatics team for an online Q&A on Thursday 1 June. Sign up now.

The call opened on 15 May, and closes on DEADLINE EXTENDED MONDAY 26 JUNE  at 5pm. 

At the end of the project in late 2023 we will have an event which will showcase all of the projects we have supported, along with the report we will be creating, and its recommendations for creatives, industry and funders.


Respond to our survey

We would love to understand your interest and the potential for Creative AI in Scotland, what is inspiring you in this space in your wider creative industries networks and parts of the world. Where would you like to see support? What would you need to be able to use or explore AI in new creative ways? What are you concerned about? Where do you see challenges in these technologies?

Fill in the survey by following this link.


Take part in our scoping workshops

We will be running scoping workshops and networking events in Edinburgh, Glasgow, Dundee and online. We are particularly keen to hear from people working in or interested in working with AI in their creative practice – whether a start up with products/new ideas in this space, or creative practitioners exploring AI in their work.

  • Edinburgh – details coming soon
  • Glasgow – details coming soon
  • Dundee – details coming soon
  • Online – details coming soon

Email creativeinformatics@ed.ac.uk to be notified when bookings go live for these events.

Image from the ImprovBot project. Credits: Artist: Rudolf Ammann. Other project members: Melissa Terras and Gavin Inglis
Image from the ImprovBot project. Credits: Artist: Rudolf Ammann. Other project members: Melissa Terras and Gavin Inglis

Creative AI Demonstrator

Why Now?

What Happens Next?

How to Take Part:

Apply to our Creative AI Music & Audio Pilots Call

Respond to our Creative AI Scoping Survey

Sign Up to Our Scoping Workshops 


Creative AI Demonstrator Project Application and Scoping Timeline.

Applications are now open for our Pilot Creative AI Music & AI Pilot Projects Call. 

Our Survey and registration for our Scoping Workshops open soon. If you have any questions on this Demonstrator Project or any of our opportunities to take part, please email the Creative Informatics team: creativeinformatics@ed.ac.uk


  • 15.05.2023
    Pilot Call Opens
  • 12.06.2023
    Scoping Workshops Begin
  • 23.06.2023
    Pilot Applications Close