Thesis Info

Thesis Title
Creating Creativity
Heather Dewey-Hagborg
2nd Author
3rd Author
Master of Professional Studies
Number of Pages
New York University, Tisch School of the Arts
Thesis Supervisor
Nancy Hechinger
Supervisor e-mail
nancyhechinger AT
Other Supervisor(s)
Language(s) of Thesis
Department / Discipline
Interactive Telecommunications Program
Languages Familiar to Author
URL where full thesis can be found
creativity, artificial intelligence, artificial life, computation, information art
Abstract: 200-500 words
1.0 Abstract/Introduction This thesis discusses my research into creativity as an emergent property of memory and explores the possibility of machine creativity through experimentation with biologically inspired electronic architectures. One intriguing characteristic of the human mind is its ability to be creative, that is the ability to generate an output, an action, or a phrase, that is not explicitly learned; to evolve memory through synthesis and noise, arriving at ideas and solutions that seem to come out of nowhere; that appear to be completely new. Creativity, like consciousness or intelligence, is a fundamentally social and perceptual phenomenon. A person, an animal, or a machine, is creative if we deem them to be so, if our culture has shaped us to believe it. Nonetheless, the structure of the biological brain and the process by which it evolved lends it the capacity for these qualities and the perception of them. This thesis is concerned with the possibility of creating creativity. It proposes that by constructing electronic structures using processes and materials inspired by biology we can enable a creative capacity in machines. Through utilization of principal component analysis and neural network techniques I have developed a creative software program. Like a living creature, each instantiation of the code is unique; though each may experience similar information, they apprehend it and remember it in their own anomalous way. Following from this, they interpret new and ambiguous stimuli divergently. This project examines the core possibility of how it is that human beings come up with ideas which are new to them, and how this capability can be translated to the realm of machines.