Harold Cohen studied painting at the Slade School of Fine Arts in London, and taught there for several years before joining the Visual Arts Department in 1968. His work as a painter has been exhibited widely both in galleries and in major museums. During the sixties he represented Great Britain in the Venice Biennale, Documenta 3, the Paris Biennale, the Carnegie International and many other important international shows. He exhibited regularly at the Robert Fraser Gallery in London and the Alan Stone Gallery in New York.
After moving to San Diego, Cohen became interested in computer programming and particularly in the field of artificial intelligence. On the basis of his early research he was invited, in 1971, to spend two years at the Artificial Intelligence Laboratory of Stanford University as a Guest Scholar. Much of his work since that time has been concerned with building a machine-based simulation of the cognitive processes underlying the human act of drawing. The resulting ongoing program, AARON, has by now been seen producing original \"freehand\" drawings in museums and science centres in the US, Europe and Japan: the Los Angeles County Museum, Documenta-6, The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam, the Brooklyn Museum, the Tate Gallery in London and the IBM Gallery in New York among others. He has also exhibited in a number of science centers, including the Ontario Science Centre, Pittsburgh\'s Buhl Centre, the Science Museum in Boston and the California Museum of Science and Technology. He has a permanent exhibit in the Computer Museum in Boston, and he represented the US in the Japan World Fair in Tsukuba in 1985.