Re: Creativity and Artificial Intelligence

Mark Crosby (
Tue, 3 Feb 1998 10:11:33 -0800 (PST)

Hal Finney wrote:
< An old idea for mechanizing creativity is to divide
it into two parts: one is an exploratory part, which
is highly random and throws out a lot of "crazy
ideas". [cut] The other part is the judgement part,
which looks at the output of the first part and
decides what looks good. In some models this could
then feed back and narrow the search space of the
first part. >

Back in October there was a thread about Imagination
Engines, Inc.'s, Creativity Machine, which claims to
do just that ( )

Hal continued:
< To say that computers can't mechanize creativity,
you either have to say that this method won't work to
produce creative artworks, or else that computers
can't do the first or second parts. The most
questionable is probably whether computers can ever
be able to have esthetic judgement, to be able to
look at different artworks and say which ones people
will find attractive. >

As I noted back in December, there is an essay by
Patricia Churchland called "Feeling Reasons"
available on the Web as part of an ARS Electronica
symposium from September 1997 at which
explains why autonomous reasoning requires an
'affect' or 'feeling' system in order to function

Another (6-page) paper that comes to mind as being
relevant to how 'feeling' might be incorporated into
a non-biological system is Neven Tomov's 9604 paper
in Complexity International online
( )
called "Towards Combining Artificially Alive and
Artificially Intelligent Agents".

In light of these issues, and as a 'response' to Doug
Bailey's 'poll', I would just add that 'Strong AI'
seems possible to me, BUT, it would have to be
'grown' and/or learn on its own; in other words, it's
unlikely that it can be planned or programmed
according to specs the way we develop software today,
otherwise it will never be creative on its own. This
is the big challenge for using it to control

Bruce Edmonds (at Manchester Metro Univ. in the UK)
has some interesting papers on subjects relevant to
this. In particular, see Edmonds, B. "The Possibile
Irreducibility of Software Artificial Life." CPM
Report 97-14, MMU, 1997.

Mark Crosby
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