On a warm day in April 2013, I was sitting in a friend's kitchen in Paris, trying to engineer serendipity. I was trying to get my computer to write music on its own. I wanted to be able to turn it on and have it spit out not just any goofy little algorithmic tune but beautiful, compelling, mysterious music; something I'd be proud to have written myself. The kitchen window was open, and as I listened to the sounds of children playing in the courtyard below, I thought about how the melodies of their voices made serendipitous counterpoint with the songs of nearby birds and the intermittent drone of traffic on the rue d'Alésia. In response to these daydreams, I was making a few tweaks to my software--a chaotic, seat-of-the-pants affair that betrayed my intuitive, self-taught approach to programming--when I saw that Bill Seaman had just uploaded a new batch of audio files to our shared Dropbox folder. I had been collaborating with Bill, a media artist, on various aspects of computational creativity over the past few years.
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.
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.
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).