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computational creativity

Contributor(s): Matthew Haughn

Computational creativity is the application of computer technologies to emulate, study, stimulate and enhance human creativity.

Computational creativity involves experimentation with the goal of finding innovative ideas and thought processes in fields like art, literature, cuisine, architecture, engineering and music. Computational creativity often applies artificial intelligence (AI) to create things that were imagined impossible for computers such as paintings, sculptures and written works of fiction.

While computers are known for mathematical precision and logic, creativity was long thought to be the exclusive domain of conscious beings. Much controversy still exists over the possibility of computational creativity, and many creatives, in particular, are vocally against it. While it can be questioned whether computers can be truly creative, computational creativity projects often aim to yield works that human observers might assess as creative. In any case, the simulation of human-level creativity is seen as a lofty goal.

IBM is one company that believes that human-level creativity is possible for computers. The company’s current project applies computational creativity to the development of new culinary recipes. Admittedly, it seems unlikely that a machine  that cannot taste could invent a recipe that humans find not only palatable but enjoyable and novel. IBM claims its secret ingredient is big data and has trained its creative computing model on a huge corpus of recipes. Surprisingly, the results were evaluated by professional chefs with promising feedback.

Creativity is one essential component of artificial general intelligence (AGI), which involves a system that can find solutions to unfamiliar problems.

This was last updated in April 2018

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