Creativity in Human and Artificial Agents
Course Overview ||
Class Slides ||
Student Work ||
This course confronts students with the challenge of engineering a proper
subset of artificial intelligent agents: namely, creative ones.
This course could have been called simply "Human and Artificial Agents,"
or "Introduction to Intelligent Agent Technology," or some such thing.
The problem with this is that then the course would inevitably deal
with agents that aren't very interesting. The most interesting agents,
whether human or artificial, are ones that do -- in some
sense of the phrase -- creative things.
Students in this course will strive to build artificial agents that do
some really interesting things.
There are two main premises in this course, viz.,
We know that
creative human agents are generally touted as the best that (at least the
intellectual side of) humankind can muster. The entrepreneur who goes from
late nights in the garage to the richest person on the planet, the
mathematician who achieves immortality via an astounding proof, the person
who creates stunning sci fi movies that gross
$200 million, the GO player who devises a configuration that suddenly
secures victory, etc. --- these are the people we deify as wonderfully
creative. How do they do what they do? Can an artificial agent be built
that does such lofty things (or at least things like these lofty
things)? Can an artificial agent be built that does more mundane and
directly marketable creative things? If so, how?
How can IT professionals harness agent technology to create and/or manage
creative artificial agents? These are the sorts of questions we seek to
answer in this course.
The `term' agent is used here in the technical sense employed in
artificial intelligence (AI) --- a sense that will be specified early in the
course with help from one of our texts, Russell and Norvig's so-called
AIMA book. It is assumed that creative artificial agents have and will
continue to have considerable economic value, and that a significant thrust
in IT will increasingly be the creation and profitable deployment of creative
engineer creative artificial agents one needs to study, at least to some
degree, creativity and computation in general, including creative
- To manage information technology optimally, one should
that technology. And to truly understand a technology, one needs
to -- at least to some degree -- build it (or with it).
Practice Exam, Esslingen, Germany.
Exam, Esslingen, Germany.
- Due Dates as of 3/28: Paper 1 now in and almost all
are web-posted, Paper 2 due April 4. See
Class 14: The VC Responds (Paper #2) for description of
Paper 2. See
Class 19: Artistic Creativity (Part 2) and Your Paper 2
Final Projects due first day of final exam period. ELIZA
due first day of final exam period, one for each group, "souped up"
to some degree.
- Syllabus for Germany course, Esslingen
- "Can a Computing Machine Be Genuinely Creative?," by
Slides for a presentation to Exxon Corporation, February 16, 2000.
- "Creativity, the Turing Test, and the (Better) Lovelace Test," by
Selmer Bringsjord, Paul Bello, and David Ferrucci.
Slides for the presentation at Turing 2000, at Dartmouth -- where it
all (arguably) started.
The Four Stage Venture Capital-Seeking Project
In groups, students in CHAA tackle a four-step process designed to
obtain millions in start-up capital (or in sponsored research monies) to
launch them toward fortunes of the sort that the "new economy"
(which is powered by IT, as Greenspan
recently explained when coining this phrase in a March 2000 talk at
Boston College) has put within the reach of those who have the right
sort of knowledge and drive. In stage 1 (= Paper 1) they pitch their idea to
a VC. In stage 2 (= Paper 2),
they provide a more detailed document for a technical
advisor called in by the VC. This advisor is an expert in agent technology.
In stage 3 each team is invited to give a powerpoint presentation directly
to the VC and his/her associates. (These presentations are given for
everyone in CHAA.)
And finally, in stage 4, the complete package
(enhancement of stage 2, with screen shots, working code, etc.) is submitted.
- An Intelligent Agent for Hockey Broadcasting
- An Agent for Assisting with Relocation
- An Artificlal Poker-Playing Agent
- A Virtual Travel Agent
- "The Moviebot"
- Intelligent Audio
- "MoFo Pro Ductions"
- Artificial Customer Service Representative
- Smart Traffic Lights
- An Intelligent Email Filtration System
- "HAL 3000"
- "RAT AI"
- Career Management System
- Online Intelligent Dating Service
- AI Automated Scheduler
- "Selling SELMER"
- Agent to Play GO
- Agent to Play the Bull____ Cardgame
- An Agent for Systematizing Asynchronous Communication
- "Number 9"
Other Misc. Work
- "Agent" to Hit Any Rational Number (in connection with "Letter Spirit"
Class Slides (Powerpoint)
Top Level of
Bringsjord's Web Site