The Creative Web: Computational Creativity as a Web-Service

Thursday, January 31, 2013 - 14:00 - 15:30
Room A206, Antwerp University, Prinsstraat 13, 2000 Antwerp
Tony Veale

As a sub-field of AI, Computational Creativity (CC) does not distinguish itself through distinct algorithms or representations, but through its goals and its philosophy. The primary goal of CC is to imbue computers with the kind of self-evaluating and self-filtering generative capabilities that are deemed "creative" when observed in humans. The driving philosophy of CC as a field frowns on "pastiche" -- the reverse-engineered exploration of a sweet-spot of outputs in the distinctive style of a particular artist or creator -- and on "mere" generation -- the formulaic, script-based generation of well-formed outputs that are not subsequently evaluated or critiqued, and which are never rejected as uninteresting by the system itself. CC aims to develop generative software that can appreciate its own outputs, and even be occasionally surprised by these outputs.

In this talk I explore how the web can be used as a force-magnifier for both theoretical and engineering progress in the field of computational creativity. I propose that emerging CC technologies be integrated and pooled to provide an architecture of creative web services that provide important CC processes and services in an on-demand fashion. In this vision of a Creative Web, web services will provide creativity on tap to third-party software applications; these services will include ideation services (such as metaphor invention), composition services (such as conceptual blending) and framing services (such as poetry generation, joke generation, emotionally-grounded explanations and analyses, etc.).

Specifically, I will describe some existing services that have been designed in UCD and KAIST to instantiate this vision. These web services include the interpretation and generation of affective metaphors, the analysis of conceptual blends in both propositional and emotional terms, and the rendering of metaphors and blends as novel poems that display some small measure of insight and imagination.

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