Harold Cohen (born 1928) is a painter, printmaker and designer of textiles, but he is perhaps best known as the creator of AARON, a computer program utilising artificial intelligence (the branch of computer science concerned with making computers behave like humans) to generate artworks. AARON was conceived (around 1973) as the first in a projected series of programs but in fact Cohen is still working with AARON today. His creation of this program grew out of what he has described as his need 'to understand what art is'. In the process of designing a program to work with random variables, making its own decisions on colouring and composition, he explored the potential inherent in different programming languages.
Initially AARON produced drawings which were then coloured by Cohen. Most recently he has modified the program so that it chooses and applies the colours itself, resulting in digital prints which are the unmediated work of AARON. Cohen insists that display labels and image credits for prints produced by AARON should read "Digital print by AARON, a computer program written by Harold Cohen". To produce prints on this unprecedented scale Cohen has used one of the new wide-format printers, with archival pigment inks.