Human-AI Interaction in Creative Teams

A guide for anyone wanting to blend human and artificial intelligence in professional creative settings, effectively.

Human-AI Interaction in Creative Teams

tl;dr: Integrating Artificial Intelligence (AI) in human design teams is vital to improving workforce skills and collaboration.

However, despite the potential of AI to enhance human design teams, hesitancy in adoption often stems from a lack of understanding and a fear of displacement. Here, we will explore the interaction between human design teams and intelligent systems, focusing on how AI can boost creativity and teamwork.

We'll delve into the psychology and neuroscience behind these interactions, demonstrating AI's practical applications and correcting common misconceptions.

A Conversation with Jess & Tim


In today's tech landscape, integrating Artificial Intelligence (AI) in human design teams is key to improving workforce skills and collaboration. However, there's often hesitancy in adoption due to misunderstandings and fears of displacement. To address this, a structured roadmap for adopting AI in design teams could be introduced:

  • Understanding: Begin by educating the team about AI's capabilities and potential workflow impact.

  • Training: Implement training sessions to develop skills and confidence using AI tools.

  • 1:1 Engagement: Start with individual team members using AI in their tasks, allowing for gradual adaptation.

  • Team Engagement: Progress to integrating AI in team-wide projects, enhancing creativity and teamwork.

Adopting this structured roadmap can ease the integration of AI in design teams, highlighting its function as an enhancement to human ingenuity and operational efficiency rather than a replacement. The article will explore the psychological and neurological aspects of human-AI interactions, clarify AI's real-world applications, and dispel prevalent myths. It aims to be a comprehensive guide for seamlessly merging human and artificial intelligence in creative professional environments.

Design Teams and AI Collaboration

Campaign success hinges significantly on the dynamics of the design team. Effective collaboration, characterized by diverse skill sets, open communication, and a shared vision, is the key to groundbreaking and impactful results. Despite their strengths, human-only design teams often face limitations in idea generation and efficiency and are hindered by cognitive biases.

While current AI models are used primarily for 1:1 interactions between a single individual and an AI, enhancing entire team dynamics with AI presents significant innovation potential. AI can assist team decision-making and creative processes by providing data-driven insights, predictive analytics, and automated solutions to complex problems. For example, AI can suggest design elements based on user engagement data, helping teams make informed decisions that align with consumer preferences and brand guidelines. By integrating these insights, teams can diversify their thinking and processes and amplify their creativity and effectiveness, producing more relevant and resonant advertising campaigns more rapidly. AI can also streamline repetitive tasks, freeing human team members to focus on the project's more creative, engaging, and strategic aspects, leading to enhanced enjoyment at work. 

By enhancing psychological safety using new technologies, AI can foster a collaborative environment within design teams by facilitating more open communication. In this way, AI can catalyze dialogue, prompting discussions and posing open-ended questions that encourage every team member to share their thoughts and ideas. This is particularly valuable in brainstorming sessions, where diverse inputs can lead to rich, more innovative outcomes.

Another critical role AI can play is ensuring balanced team participation. AI can recognize patterns in team interactions, identifying quieter members who may not be as vocal in meetings or discussions. By gently encouraging their input, AI helps create a more inclusive environment where every voice is heard and every perspective is valued. This aspect of AI aligns with research emphasizing the importance of inclusive dialogue in team settings for better decision-making and innovation. AI can also provide a level of anonymity when needed, especially in situations where team members might feel hesitant to express their opinions openly due to the sensitivity of a topic. By offering anonymous channels for feedback or suggestions, AI may help create a safe space for expression without fear of judgement or backlash, fostering a more open and honest team culture.

Furthermore, AI’s ability to monitor and analyze team dynamics offers a significant advantage. By evaluating communication patterns, it could provide insights into the team’s collaboration effectiveness, identifying areas for improvement. This analytical capability of AI can be crucial in understanding and enhancing team dynamics, leading to a more cohesive and efficient collaborative process.

The Psychology of Working with AI

Understanding the psychology of how humans engage with AI is essential for effective human-AI design teams. At its core, this involves human team members developing a shared mental model of how the AI functions, which is crucial for synchronizing team members' understanding and expectations of an AI's output.

Shared mental models in teams are cognitive representations of the environment, processes, and interactions that guide individual and collective actions. In the context of AI, each team member needs a clear understanding of how the AI operates, its capabilities, and its limitations. Such understanding ensures cohesive and strategic decision-making by the group, as synchrony between AI and human team members is vital for seamlessly integrating AI's output into the team's workflow​​.

Effective collaboration with AI also requires team members to align their mental models with the AI's processes, as how humans perceive and imagine AI's operation significantly impacts their interaction with it. A study has recently shown that individuals' mental models of AI affect how they utilise, trust, and rely on AI outputs​​. Understanding and shaping these mental models is key to maximizing AI's benefits in team settings. This alignment can lead to more accurate predictions of AI behavior and better integration of AI-generated insights. Recent research emphasizes the importance of shared mental models in teams utilizing AI, highlighting how this leads to improved decision-making and team efficiency ​​.

Finally, as discussed by IBM Research, the concept of human-centered AI plays a pivotal role in this dynamic. Human-centered AI focuses on designing AI systems that complement and augment human abilities, emphasizing user-friendly interfaces, explainability, and ethical considerations. In fact, a recent study has shown that perceiving an AI teammate as warm and competent enables greater psychological acceptance of the AI within a human-AI team. Taking this approach ensures that AI tools are not just powerful but also personable and aligned with human needs and expectations.

Building a Pathway Forward

Integrating AI into collaborative work settings often meets resistance, primarily due to concerns over job security and the perceived complexity of AI systems. Addressing these concerns through education and demonstrating AI's value in augmenting rather than replacing human work is crucial for a smooth transition. Looking forward, the role of AI in creative team settings is poised for significant evolution. It will become seamless, and its ability to generate predictive models and insights will become even more refined. For example, customized AI agents, working alongside teams and utilizing their data, enhance operations and streamline workflows. This approach is particularly effective in overcoming initial creative hurdles, such as blank page syndrome, by expediting the work process and leading to higher-quality results in less time.

The evolution of AI in team settings, while promising, brings with it ethical challenges that must be navigated carefully. Concerns such as the use of personal data and the risk of AI perpetuating biases are critical. For instance, the use of AI in recruitment has raised questions about potential biases in algorithms, which, if not addressed, has been found to lead to unfair hiring practices. Similarly, in customer data analysis, the misuse of personal information can breach privacy norms. Teams integrating AI must ensure that these systems are transparent and fair and adhere to privacy standards to uphold ethical principles. 

Despite these challenges, integrating AI into advertising teams transforms our creative landscape. This change is not just about keeping pace with technological advancements but actively participating in a revolution reshaping how creative processes are approached and executed. For advertising teams, embracing AI means unlocking new levels of creativity, efficiency, and data-driven strategy, which is essential for staying competitive and relevant in an increasingly digital and AI-centric world. This transformation necessitates a proactive approach to adopting and adapting to AI technologies in the creative domain.

Hacking Collaboration Today

Incorporating AI into team workflows can be straightforward. This guide provides a simple, step-by-step method for integrating AI tools and techniques into existing workflows efficiently:

  • Identify Repetitive Tasks: Start by identifying repetitive and time-consuming tasks for your team, such as data entry or scheduling. These are prime candidates for automation through AI.

  • Adopt User-Friendly AI Tools: Choose AI tools known for their user-friendliness and strong support communities. Tools like Trello for project management, enhanced with AI-based features, can help in task prioritization and automation.

  • Implement AI for Data Analysis: Use AI tools for data analysis, like Google Analytics, to gain insights into customer behavior or campaign performance. This can help in making more informed decisions.

  • Encourage AI-Led Brainstorming Sessions: To enhance brainstorming sessions, leverage AI tools that offer creative suggestions, such as Jasper for content ideas or Adobe Sensei for design inspiration.

  • Regular Training and Feedback Sessions: Implement regular training sessions for team members to get comfortable with these AI tools and continuously encourage feedback to improve the process.

  • Empowering Readers to Embrace AI as a Collaborative Tool: AI is not just a technological advancement; it's a catalyst for unlocking your team's creative potential.

Embracing AI as a vital part of the collaborative process is crucial. Starting with small implementations and experimenting with different tools can significantly boost a team's efficiency and creativity. AI is designed to augment, not supplant, human intelligence. Integrating AI keeps teams at the forefront of technological progress while cultivating a more inventive and collaborative culture in creative endeavors. This approach doesn't just align with technological evolution; it propels us toward a more inventive and synergistic future.


Jessica Herrington, Neuroscientist, Human Behaviour Specialist, Creative Technologist

Tim Rodgers, Founder, Rehab AI


Section 1: Design Teams and AI collaboration

Psychological safety: 

Section 2 - Psychology of working with AI 

Synchrony between AI and human design team members:

Humans and their mental models of how they imagine AI operates: 

Shared mental models and humans on design teams that use AI: 

Warmth and competence predict receptivity to AI teammates:

Section 3 - Building a Pathway Forward