Posts Tagged ‘creativity’

Invention as an Opportunistic Enterprise

This paper identifies goal handling processes that begin to account for the kind of processes involved in invention. We identify new kinds of goals with special properties and mechanisms for processing such goals, as well as means of integrating opportunism, deliberation, and social interaction into goal/plan processes. We focus on invention goals, which address significant enterprises associated with an inventor. Invention goals represent “seed” goals of an expert, around which the whole knowledge of an expert gets reorganized and grows more or less opportunistically. Invention goals reflect the idiosyncrasy of thematic goals among experts. They constantly increase the sensitivity of individuals for particular events that might contribute to their satisfaction.

Our exploration is based on a well-documented example: the invention of the telephone by Alexander Graham Bell. We propose mechanisms to explain: (1) how Bell’s early thematic goals gave rise to the new goals to invent the multiple telegraph and the telephone, and (2) how the new goals interacted opportunistically. Finally, we describe our computational model, ALEC, that accounts for the role of goals in invention.

Invention as an Opportunistic Enterprise

by Marin Simina, Janet Kolodner, Ashwin Ram, Michael Gorman

19th Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society, Stanford, CA, August 1997

A Functional Theory of Creative Reading: Process, Knowledge, and Evaluation

Reading is a complex cognitive behavior, making use of dozens of tasks to achieve comprehension. As such, it represents an important aspect of general cognition; the benefits of having a theory of reading would be far-reaching. Additionally, there is an aspect of reading which has been largely ignored by the research, namely, reading appears to encompass a creative process. In this dissertation, I present a theory capable of explaining creative reading. There are not separate reading behaviors, some mundane and some creative; instead, all of reading must be understood as a creative process. Therefore, a comprehensive theory of reading and creativity is needed. Unfortunately, although the scientific study of reading has been undertaken for almost a century, it is often done in a piecemeal fashion–that is, the research has often concentrated on a narrow aspect of reading behavior. This is due, to some degree, to the fact that reading is a huge process–however, it is my belief that failing to consider the complete reading process will limit the research, Thus, in my work, I identify a set of tasks which sufficiently covers the reading process for short narratives. Together, these tasks form the basis of a functional theory of reading.

Using the reading framework to support the research, I produced a theory of creative understanding, which is the process by which novel concepts come to be understood by a reasoner. To accomplish this, I created a taxonomy of novelty types, I produced a knowledge representation and ontology of sufficient flexibility to permit the representation of a wide-range of conceptual forms, and I created an interlocking set of four tasks which act together to produce the behavior–memory retrieval, analogical mapping, base-constructive analogy, and problem reformulation. My technique for base-constructive analogy is one of the more unique features of my work; it permits existing concepts to be combined in ways which enable novel concepts to be understood. In addition to that, the theory provides for reasonable bounding to occur on the process of creative understanding through a set of heuristics associated with the ontology. This allows reasonable bounding to occur while greatly reducing the possibility of non-useful understandings.

The theory of creative reading is instantiated in a computer model, the ISAAC system, which reads and comprehends short science fiction stories. The model has allowed me to perform empirical evaluation, providing an important stage in the overall theory revision cycle. The evaluation demonstrated that ISAAC can answer independently-generated comprehension questions about a set of science fiction stories with skill comparable to a group of college students. This result, along with an analysis of the internal workings of the model enables me to claim that my theory of creative reading is sufficient to explain important aspects of the behavior.

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A functional theory of creative reading: Process, knowledge, and evaluation

by Kenneth Moorman

PhD Thesis, College of Computing, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, GA, 1997

The Role of Ontology in Creative Understanding

Successful creative understanding requires that a reasoner be able to manipulate known concepts in order to understand novel ones. A major problem arises, however, when one considers exactly how these manipulations are to be bounded. If a bound is imposed which is too loose, the reasoner is likely to create bizarre understandings rather than useful creative ones. On the other hand, if the bound is too tight, the reasoner will not have the flexibility needed to deal with a wide range of creative understanding experiences. Our approach is to make use of a principled ontology as one source of reasonable bounding. This allows our creative understanding theory to have good explanatory power about the process while allowing the computer implementation of the theory (the ISAAC system) to be flexible without being bizarre in the task domain of reading science fiction short stories.

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The Role of Ontology in Creative Understanding

by Kenneth Moorman, Ashwin Ram

18th Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society (CogSci-96), San Diego, CA, July 1996

Understanding the Creative Mind

Margaret Boden, a master at bring ideas from artificial intelligence and cognitive science to the masses, has done it again. In The Creative Mind: Myths and Mechanisms (published by Routledge, 2003), she has produced a well-written, well-argued review and synthesis of current computational theories relevant to creativity. This book seems appropriately pitched for students in survey courses and for the intelligent lay public. And if ever there were a topic suitable for bridging the gap between researchers adh the layperson, this is surely it: What is creativity, and how is it possible? Or, in computational terms (the terms that Boden argoes ought to be applied), what are the processes of creativity?

We believe that in order to analyze creative reasoning, one needs a theoretical framework in which to model thinking. To this end, we propose using a computational approach rooted in case-based reasoning. This paradigm is fundamentally concerned with memory issues, such as remindings from partial matches at varying levels of representation and the formation of analogical maps between seemingly disparate situations—exactly the kinds of phenomena that researchers up to, and including, Boden have highlighted as central to creativity.

Our research suggests that creativity is not a process in itself that can be turned on or off; rather, it arises from the confluence and complex interaction of inferences using multiple kinds of knowledge in the context of a task or problem and in the context of a specific situation. Much of what we think of as “creativity” arises from interesting strategic control of these inferences and their integration in the context of a task and situation.

These five aspects—inferences, knowledge, task, situation, and control—are not special or unique to creativity but are part of normal everyday thinking. They determine the thinkable, the thoughts the reasoner might normally have when addressing a problem or performing a task. In a specific individual, more creative thoughts will likely result when these pieces come together in a novel way to yield unexplored and unexpected paths that go “beyond the thinkable”.

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Understanding the Creative Mind

by Ashwin Ram, Linda Wills, Eric Domeshek, Nancy Nersessian, Janet Kolodner

Artificial Intelligence journal, 79(1):111-128, 1995

Integrating Creativity and Reading: A Functional Approach

Reading has been studied for decades by a variety of cognitive disciplines, yet no theories exist which sufficiently describe and explain how people accomplish the complete task of reading real-world texts. In particular, a type of knowledge intensive reading known as creative reading has been largely ignored by the past research. We argue that creative reading is an aspect of practically all reading experiences; as a result, any theory which overlooks this will be insufficient.

We have built on results from psychology, artificial intelligence, and education in order to produce a functional theory of the complete reading process. The overall framework describes the set of tasks necessary for reading to be performed. Within this framework, we have developed a theory of creative reading. The theory is implemented in the ISAAC (Integrated Story Analysis And Creativity) system, a reading system which reads science fiction stories.

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Integrating Creativity and Reading: A Functional Approach

by Kenneth Moorman, Ashwin Ram

Sixteenth Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society (CogSci-94), Atlanta, GA, August 1994

A Model of Creative Understanding

Although creativity has largely been studied in problem solving contexts, creativity consists of both a generative component and a comprehension component. In particular, creativity is an essential part of reading and understanding of natural language stories. We have formalized the understanding process and have developed an algorithm capable of producing creative understanding behavior. We have also created a novel knowledge organization scheme to assist the process. Our model of creativity is implemented as a portion of the ISAAC (Integrated Story Analysis And Creativity) reading system, a system which models the creative reading of science fiction stories.

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A Model of Creative Understanding

by Kenneth Moorman, Ashwin Ram

Twelvth National Conference on Artificial Intelligence (AAAI-94), Seattle, WA, August 1994

Creative Conceptual Change

Creative conceptual change involves (a) the construction of new concepts and of coherent belief systems, or theories, relating these concepts, and (b) the modification and extrapolation of existing concepts and theories in novel situations. The first kind of process involves reformulating perceptual, sensorimotor, or other low-level information into higher-level abstractions. The second kind of process involves a temporary suspension of disbelieve and the extension or adaptation of existing concepts to create a conceptual model of a new situation which may be very different from previous real-world experience.

We discuss these and other types of conceptual change, and present computational models of constructive and extrapolative processes in creative conceptual change. The models have been implemented as computer programs in two very different “everyday” task domains: (a) SINS is an autonomous robotic navigation system that learns to navigate in an obstacle-ridden world by constructing sensorimotor concepts that represent navigational strategies, and (b) ISAAC is a natural language understanding system that reads short stories from the science fiction genre which requires a deep understanding of concepts that might be very different from the concepts that the system is familiar with.

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Creative Conceptual Change

by Ashwin Ram, Kenneth Moorman, Juan Carlos Santamaria

Invited talk at the 15th Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society, Boulder, CO, June 1993. Long version published as Technical Report GIT-CC-96/07, College of Computing, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, GA, 1996.