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Creativity at the Metalevel

AI Magazine

Creativity is sometimes taken to be an inexplicable aspect of human activity. By summarizing a considerable body of literature on creativity, I hope to show how to turn some of the best ideas about creativity into programs that are demonstrably more creative than any we have seen to date. I believe the key to building more creative programs is to give them the ability to reflect on and modify their own frameworks and criteria. That is, I believe that the key to creativity is at the metalevel. In the AAAI-1998 Presidential Address, for example, David Waltz said that creativity is a key topic for AI research because it is an essential element of human intelligence (Waltz 1999).


Creativity at the Metalevel

AAAI Conferences

In his model (Weisberg 1993), the same thought processes are going on in creative problem solving as in the ordinary kind but with some additional level of commitment that leads to the persistence that many people have mentioned. Thinking time, in his model, gets put into the background, becoming the incubation time that many psychologists have talked about. During this time, a person can incorporate a lot more background knowledge into problem solving, which most of us in AI would believe to be essential. Background knowledge, in the Weisberg model, then gives the person or the program the ability to explore a rich space much more efficiently. Overall, the model is one of successive modifications of ideas, generating successors by processes that are not elaborated. His emphasis on background knowledge, however, suggests both heuristic search and analogy as the generating mechanisms. Feigenbaum's and Lederberg's model of hypothesis formation in science implemented in


Creativity at the Metalevel: AAAI-2000 Presidential Address

AI Magazine

Creativity is sometimes taken to be an inexplicable aspect of human activity. By summarizing a considerable body of literature on creativity, I hope to show how to turn some of the best ideas about creativity into programs that are demonstrably more creative than any we have seen to date. I believe the key to building more creative programs is to give them the ability to reflect on and modify their own frameworks and criteria. That is, I believe that the key to creativity is at the metalevel.


Computational Creativity: Coming of Age

AI Magazine

Such creative software can be used for autonomous creative tasks, such as inventing mathematical theories, writing poems, painting pictures, and composing music. However, computational creativity studies also enable us to understand human creativity and to produce programs for creative people to use, where the software acts as a creative collaborator rather than a mere tool. Historically, it's been difficult for society to come to terms with machines that purport to be intelligent and even more difficult to admit that they might be creative. For instance, in 1934, some professors at the University of Manchester in the United Kingdom built meccano models that were able to solve some mathematical equations. Groundbreaking for its time, this project was written up in a piece in Meccano Magazine.