Colton, Simon


Wevva: Democratising Game Design

AAAI Conferences

Fluidic games blur the line between gameplay and game design, providing playful, non-technical, easy-to-use tools for users to design their own games. We introduce Wevva, our first fluidic game for iOS, which allows users to design and share their own games based on novel mechanics, entirely on a mobile device, with no need for programming skills. The development of such software is a significant challenge in user interface design, requiring a new design approach compared to the design of more traditional creative tools, and with much scope for mixed-initiative co-creation and other assistive AI technologies. Our aim with fluidic games is to democratise game design, allowing anyone and everyone to express themselves through the artform of digital games.


Modelling serendipity in a computational context

arXiv.org Artificial Intelligence

Building on a survey of previous theories of serendipity and creativity, we advance a sequential model of serendipitous occurrences. We distinguish between serendipity as a service and serendipity in the system itself, clarify the role of invention and discovery, and provide a measure for the serendipity potential of a system. While a system can arguably not be guaranteed to be serendipitous, it can have a high potential for serendipity. Practitioners can use these theoretical tools to evaluate a computational system's potential for unexpected behaviour that may have a beneficial outcome. In addition to a qualitative features of serendipity potential, the model also includes quantitative ratings that can guide development work. We show how the model is used in three case studies of existing and hypothetical systems, in the context of evolutionary computing, automated programming, and (next-generation) recommender systems. From this analysis, we extract recommendations for practitioners working with computational serendipity, and outline future directions for research.


The Digital Synaptic Neural Substrate: A New Approach to Computational Creativity

arXiv.org Artificial Intelligence

We introduce a new artificial intelligence (AI) approach called, the 'Digital Synaptic Neural Substrate' (DSNS). It uses selected attributes from objects in various domains (e.g. chess problems, classical music, renowned artworks) and recombines them in such a way as to generate new attributes that can then, in principle, be used to create novel objects of creative value to humans relating to any one of the source domains. This allows some of the burden of creative content generation to be passed from humans to machines. The approach was tested in the domain of chess problem composition. We used it to automatically compose numerous sets of chess problems based on attributes extracted and recombined from chess problems and tournament games by humans, renowned paintings, computer-evolved abstract art, photographs of people, and classical music tracks. The quality of these generated chess problems was then assessed automatically using an existing and experimentally-validated computational chess aesthetics model. They were also assessed by human experts in the domain. The results suggest that attributes collected and recombined from chess and other domains using the DSNS approach can indeed be used to automatically generate chess problems of reasonably high aesthetic quality. In particular, a low quality chess source (i.e. tournament game sequences between weak players) used in combination with actual photographs of people was able to produce three-move chess problems of comparable quality or better to those generated using a high quality chess source (i.e. published compositions by human experts), and more efficiently as well. Why information from a foreign domain can be integrated and functional in this way remains an open question for now. The DSNS approach is, in principle, scalable and applicable to any domain in which objects have attributes that can be represented using real numbers.


Aesthetic Considerations for Automated Platformer Design

AAAI Conferences

We describe ANGELINA3, a system that can automatically develop games along a defined theme, by selecting appropriate multimedia content from a variety of sources and incorporating it into a game's design. We discuss these capabilities in the context of the FACE model for assessing progress in the building of creative systems, and discuss how ANGELINA3 can be improved through further work.


Mining Rules from Player Experience and Activity Data

AAAI Conferences

Feedback on player experience and behaviour can be invaluable to game designers, but there is need for specialised knowledge discovery tools to deal with high volume playtest data. We describe a study witha commercial third-person shooter, in which integrated player activity and experience data was captured and mined for design-relevant knowledge. We demonstrate that association rule learning and rule templates can be used to extractmeaningful rules relating player activity and experience during combat. We found that the number, type and quality of rules varies between experiences, and is affected by feature distributions. Further work is required on rule selection and evaluation.



Computational Creativity: Coming of Age

AI Magazine

This editorial provides an introduction to current AI research on computationally created artefacts as well as to the papers and topics covered by this special issue on computational creativity


AAAI 2008 Spring Symposia Reports

AI Magazine

The titles of the eight symposia were as follows: (1) AI Meets Business Rules and Process Management, (2) Architectures for Intelligent Theory-Based Agents, (3) Creative Intelligent Systems, (4) Emotion, Personality, and Social Behavior, (5) Semantic Scientific Knowledge Integration, (6) Social Information Processing, (7) Symbiotic Relationships between Semantic Web and Knowledge Engineering, (8) Using AI to Motivate Greater Participation in Computer Science The goal of the AI Meets Business Rules and Process Management AAAI symposium was to investigate the various approaches and standards to represent business rules, business process management and the semantic web with respect to expressiveness and reasoning capabilities. The Semantic Scientific Knowledge Symposium was interested in bringing together the semantic technologies community with the scientific information technology community in an effort to build the general semantic science information community. The Social Information Processing's goal was to investigate computational and analytic approaches that will enable users to harness the efforts of large numbers of other users to solve a variety of information processing problems, from discovering high-quality content to managing common resources. The purpose of the Using AI to Motivate Greater Participation in Computer Science symposium was to identify ways that topics in AI may be used to motivate greater student participation in computer science by highlighting fun, engaging, and intellectually challenging developments in AI-related curriculum at a number of educational levels.


AAAI 2008 Spring Symposia Reports

AI Magazine

The Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence (AAAI) was pleased to present the AAAI 2008 Spring Symposium Series, held Wednesday through Friday, March 26–28, 2008 at Stanford University, California. The titles of the eight symposia were as follows: (1) AI Meets Business Rules and Process Management, (2) Architectures for Intelligent Theory-Based Agents, (3) Creative Intelligent Systems, (4) Emotion, Personality, and Social Behavior, (5) Semantic Scientific Knowledge Integration, (6) Social Information Processing, (7) Symbiotic Relationships between Semantic Web and Knowledge Engineering, (8) Using AI to Motivate Greater Participation in Computer Science The goal of the AI Meets Business Rules and Process Management AAAI symposium was to investigate the various approaches and standards to represent business rules, business process management and the semantic web with respect to expressiveness and reasoning capabilities. The focus of the Architectures for Intelligent Theory-Based Agents AAAI symposium was the definition of architectures for intelligent theory-based agents, comprising languages, knowledge representation methodologies, reasoning algorithms, and control loops. The Creative Intelligent Systems Symposium included five major discussion sessions and a general poster session (in which all contributing papers were presented). The purpose of this symposium was to explore the synergies between creative cognition and intelligent systems. The goal of the Emotion, Personality, and Social Behavior symposium was to examine fundamental issues in affect and personality in both biological and artificial agents, focusing on the roles of these factors in mediating social behavior. The Semantic Scientific Knowledge Symposium was interested in bringing together the semantic technologies community with the scientific information technology community in an effort to build the general semantic science information community. The Social Information Processing's goal was to investigate computational and analytic approaches that will enable users to harness the efforts of large numbers of other users to solve a variety of information processing problems, from discovering high-quality content to managing common resources. The goal of the Symbiotic Relationships between the Semantic Web and Software Engineering symposium was to explore how the lessons learned by the knowledge-engineering community over the past three decades could be applied to the bold research agenda of current workers in semantic web technologies. The purpose of the Using AI to Motivate Greater Participation in Computer Science symposium was to identify ways that topics in AI may be used to motivate greater student participation in computer science by highlighting fun, engaging, and intellectually challenging developments in AI-related curriculum at a number of educational levels. Technical reports of the symposia were published by AAAI Press.