creativity and cognition
creativity and cognition venn diagram

Keynote Speakers

Marvin Minsky
MIT Media Laboratory
Cambridge MA, USA

The Emotion Machine: From Pain to Suffering

The presentation will be based on a section on Pain extracted from my forthcoming book, "The Emotion Machine," which addresses a wider range of psychological subjects than did my earlier book, "The Society of Mind" To do this it introduces several "large-scale models of the mind." One of these is a broad-brush way to imagine the brain as supporting a "cloud of resources' which interact in various ways to produce various mental phenomena. Here "resource" means any process, function, or structure that can be used by other resources in the course of a mental activity. To be sure, that statement is circular. But minds themselves are recursive, too, and that is what makes them so powerful.


Harold Cohen
Senior Research Professor
The Center for Research in Computing and the Arts

University of California, San Diego.

A Self-Defining Game for One Player

The word "creativity" properly implies, not the individual act of genius, but the individual's continuous development, the continuous introduction of new material, the deepening of perceptions.  The mechanisms of creativity are unclear, in large part because so much of what happens, both in the generation of new material and in recognizing the "rightness" of that material, happens without conscious participation.  However, most of the knowledge which provides the underpinnings of creative behavior is consciously acquired, even though it may have been internalized to the point where the individual is no longer aware that he has it.  We might conclude, consequently, that any attempt to build a creative computer program will necessarily be knowledge-based in three areas: what the program needs to know about the things it seeks to represent; what it knows about its own performance; and how to do the things it decides to do.  The author demonstrates through his AARON program that what the program knows and what it can do are closely interdependent.


Ben Shneiderman
Human-Computer Interaction Laboratory,
Department of Computer Science and Institute for Systems Research,

University of Maryland, College Park, MD 20742, USA

User Interfaces for Creativity Support Tools

Information technologies that allow more people to be more creative more of the time will have profound effects.  Education will shift from acquiring facts, studying existing knowledge, or even developing critical thinking, to an emphasis on creating novel artifacts, insights, or performances. Medicine's shift from applying standard treatments to tailoring treatments for each patient, reflects the trend to personalization that is already ascendant in marketing and media.  Expectations of teachers, lawyers, and designers are likely to rise as creativity is expected on more occasions from more people. A challenge for human-computer interaction researchers and user interface designers is to construct information technologies that support creativity. This ambitious goal can be attained by building on an adequate understanding of creative processes. This paper expands on the four-phase genex framework for generating excellence [1]. Within this integrated framework, this paper proposes eight activities that require human-computer interaction research and advanced user interface design. Then it describes eight activities that need powerful user interfaces to support creative work.



From Zombies to Cyborg Bodies: Exoskeleton, Extra Ear and Avatars

Issues of identity and alternate, intimate and involuntary experiences of the body, as well as the telematic scaling of experience, will be discussed through a presentation of recent performances.  The stimbod softrware makes possible the remote choreography of the body using a touch-screen interfaced muscle stimulation system. Exoskeleton is a pneumatically powered six-legged walking machine actuated by arm gestures.  The extra ear is a proposed project to surgically construct an ear that,connected to a modem and wearable computer, becomes an internet antenna able to hear real audio sounds to augment the local sounds it hears with its actual ears.  Movatar is an inverse motion capture system - an intelligent avatar that will be able to perform in the real world by accessing and actuating a body, whereas in previous performances the artist has attached prosthetic devices to augment the body.  Now the body itself becomes a prosthesis - possessed by an avatar to perform in the physical world.  As well as showing visual documentation, he will also demonstrate his third hand and muscle stimulation system.


October 10-13, 1999
Loughborough UK


An ACM SIGCHI International Conference