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.


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CloudPainter is an artificially creative painting robot project. It is the sixth collaborative robotic art system that I have made in the past twelve years. My first machine drew simple lines with a paint brush, connect-the-dots. My most recent robots use a custom 3D printed paint head, two robotics arms, deep learning, artificial intelligence, and computational creativity to make an increasing amount of independent aesthetic decisions. Have always wondered what exactly creativity was.


How Creativity Drives Human Evolution

National Geographic News

To grow the kind of baby that we do, with this giant brain, who can't do anything for the first 3-5 years of life, you need a lot of input. As much as 1.5-1.7 million years ago, we start to see a shift in the fossils, which suggests that more than one or two individuals became closely involved in taking care of the young. Fast forward to the last couple hundred thousand years, and it is absolutely clear that the human success story is part and parcel of our incredible ability to "take a whole village" to raise a child, as the old saying goes. The nuclear family--Mom, Dad, a couple kids, and a dog--is not only very recent but is not even typical of the way most people live in the world. This whole notion of a family house with a white picket fence is a very a-typical way to be human.



How AI Will Augment Human Creativity

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We're empowered to engage in creative thought. Because we have much more insight, a lot of guesswork is eliminated. Instead of merely telling customers what they should do, a sales rep is able to explain why it's in the customer's best interest to do it. We're given more insight to creatively explore which sales script will resonate most strongly with each customer and which marketing messaging will drive the greatest levels of engagement. Perhaps most important, we're able to deeply personalize sales and marketing content, an endeavor that only 31% of marketing professionals believe they're effective at (despite 74% believing it has a strong impact on advancing customer relationships).