Creativity Projects at Georgia Tech

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Improviser -- Modeling Serendipitious Recognition
Janet L. Kolodner and Marin Simina

We are developing a computational model of ``serendipitous recognition'' in mechanical design, which we are implementing in a system called Improviser. Serendipitous recognition is something designers often do when deeply engaged in a problem: they recognize solutions to pending design problems in the objects in their surrounding environment. This can often lead to innovation and insight, sometimes revealing new functions and purposes for common design pieces in the process. Improviser is a system under development to capture and explore serendipitous recognition. It is based on ideas from reconstructive dynamic memory and situation assessment in case-based reasoning.

ISAAC -- Modeling Creative Reading
Kenny Moorman and Ashwin Ram

Reading requires a large number of tasks which interact to produce an understanding of a piece of text. These tasks include sentence processing, story structure understanding, episodic understanding, explanation, memory, interest management, learning, and so on. We are developing a functional theory of reading which models the complete set of tasks which a reader must perform during the comprehension process. The various tasks maintain a close interaction, exchanging information as needed; this integrated approach lessens the burden on any one task. We are particularly interested in a kind of reading we call creative reading, in which the reader must learn enough about a novel situation, in a short text, in order to accept it as the background for the story, and simultaneously must understand the story itself. Consider reading a science fiction story, which will likely contain elements which are novel to a read (e.g., warp drive, intelligent robots, and so forth). The theory is implemented in the ISAAC (Integrated Story Analysis And Creativity) system, a computer model which reads science fiction short stories.

Creativity and conceptual change
Kenny Moorman, Juan Carlos Santamaria, and Ashwin Ram

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.Computational models of constructive and extrapolative processes in creative conceptual change specify the functions of conceptual change, the mechanisms or algorithms that achieve these functions, and the knowledge and representations that the mechanisms rely on.Implemented systems include ISAAC, a science fiction story understanding program that carries out conceptual change as it reads about concepts different from its own; and SINS, a robot navigation system that autonomously and progressively constructs representational structures that encapsulate the system's sensorimotor experiences.