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Creative Intelligence

Can machines be creative? Examining the capacity for creative thought.

Creativity is often considered a distinctive feature of human or human-like intelligence. Scientists and artists struggle to explain their creativity, often resorting to all-too-easy creation myths (eg Newton’s apple), appealing to the divine, or citing the immense complexity and idiosyncrasy of the human mind. This leads to a famous objection: given the complexity and mystery of creative thought, it is unlikely that artificial machines will ever be truly creative, and thus will never truly be intelligent. 

Although most research on creativity has targeted adult humans, we think it matters for many other endeavors including evolutionary biology, developmental and comparative psychology, AI, and robotics. In these sciences, notions such as ‘curiosity’, ‘insight’, ‘innovation’ and ‘flexibility’ play critical roles. Such notions can be understood as different aspects of creativity, and can be brought into dialogue with each other. By making creativity’s role in these disciplines explicit, analyzing notions such as understanding and insight, we aim to enable fruitful exchange between fields, and provide fresh insights into the nature of creativity, intelligence, and human uniqueness.

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