Random Episodic Silent ThoughtJuly 9, 2014
G’day mate. I had a very nice time in Australia and our olfaction stuff was well received at the SSP Workshop. While I was away, the computational creativity stuff debuted in its Chef Watson manifestation, but that was only one of many creativity-related things I came across during my trip.
On the flight back, I watched The Lego Movie, which in addition to featuring a 1980-Something Space Guy like we used to play with at the Mehrotra residence, is a commentary on the value of creativity. I hadn’t realized beforehand that the movie’s theme was the supremacy of creatively building things over only following the instructions. I’m glad I watched it.
Another pleasant viewing experience on the flight was the Australian Broadcasting Corporation’s documentary miniseries Redesign My Brain with Todd Sampson. It helped me understand how several parts of your research flow together. The first part of the miniseries utilizes the concept of neuroplasticity to show how Lumosity-like exercises can improve brain function along three dimensions: speed of thought, attention, and memory. I think the first of these can be related to typical Shannon theory, the second to some of your new information theory stuff incorporating Bayesian surprise, and the third to your new associative memory stuff. The second part of the miniseries is all about human creativity starting with divergent thinking and then moving on to four criteria for creativity: effectiveness, novelty, elegance, and genesis. The divergent thinking, effectiveness, and novelty are very much part of the computational creativity process we espoused, the Chef Watson app is elegant, and the extension to fashion, business processes, etc. that you talk about is the genesis.
The last part of the creativity episode is about lateral thinking. I wonder if and how you can investigate or model lateral thinking using information theory and statistical signal processing, and whether you’d want to include it in your research agenda.