Computers and Creativity - Papers & Essays



TOP > Papers & Essays > Children in the Digital Age > Computers and Creativity

Papers & Essays

Computers and Creativity


How can computers be used to model creativity? We address this issue in this article by starting with an examination of the two main cognitive mechanisms of human creativity. We argue that a primary hurdle facing human creativity is in trying to step outside of our habituated conceptual associations. However, since computers do not have such associations, we argue that in some important sense they are naturally predisposed towards creativity. Taking this viewpoint, we outline an approach to incorporating both the cognitive mechanism of creativity in a computational system.

Computers by their very nature are inherently algorithmic; and often the mechanical nature of algorithms is considered an anathema to creativity. How can any creative insight result from following a predetermined set of instructions in a blind and seemingly mindless manner? This question is the main focus of this article. The article is organized as follows. In the next section we elaborate upon what exactly we mean by creativity, and illustrate it with a few examples. In Section 3, we identify two main cognitive mechanisms of creativity that have been proposed by scholars who have studied creativity and have sometimes tried to teach people how to increase their creativity. Following that, in Section 4, we will examine how these mechanisms might be modeled computationally. Finally, in Section 5, we will highlight the main conclusions of this article and point to the future research issues.

>> To read the full article (PDF)