My research is part of the academic field called Computational Creativity that investigates ways to make computers generate creative products or use technology to support and enhance human creativity. The company I am founding will be one of the earliest companies dedicated solely to investigating the new frontier of human-computer creativity where human users collaborate with computationally creative computer colleagues on artistic and creative tasks. I will begin this investigation in the domain of abstract art (see example below) because it has a low threshold of entry for creative contributions. There really aren’t ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ lines in abstract artworks like there are in representational artwork, which makes it easier to design a program that appears to be an intelligent and intentional abstract artist.
Our system, called Apprentice, collaborates with human users as they draw on a digital canvas. The user draws a line and the system draws a line back– the user and system play a turn taking collaborative art game. The structure of interaction and turn taking can be changed to facilitate different creative experiences. Apprentice analyzes each line the user draws and generates real time line responses it predicts will add value to the artwork.
The current paradigm of Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) focuses on designing more intuitive and naturalistic ways to communicate user intent to the system. As computers become more sophisticated, they are increasingly being used in creative applications. Enormous progress has been made in the nascent field of Computational Creativity ranging from autonomous creative agents to creativity support tools that enhance and augment human creativity. A small but growing contingent of work is beginning to blend human and computational creativity in a collaborative co-creative process. In this approach, humans and computers become parts of a system through which a new form of human-computer creativity emerges. The computer acts as a colleague making its own autonomous creative contributions to construct a shared artifact. What happens when computers start to become colleagues in the creative process?
I’m a Human-Centered Computing PhD student at Georgia Tech. My research focuses on studying and developing creativity support tools to enhance and augment human creativity. Being a grad student at a major Tech university, I hear a lot of buzz about starting your own company. I’ve always thought about starting my own company, but the time never seemed quite right.
Now, I’m in the fourth year of the PhD program, and I have an idea that I think could make a cool product. I’m an idea-man at heart– an inventor, and bringing one or a few of my ideas to market is exciting to me. The lifestyle and flexibility that entrepreneurship offers is also appealing versus more traditional jobs in industry. I have about 1-2 years left in the PhD program, and I am going to try to utilize the resources at GaTech during that time to help me create a startup based on my research idea. The current plan is to enroll in a class at GaTech called Venture Creation, join a few entrepreneurship clubs to build a community, and work through the Customer Development Process outlined in the The Startup Owner’s Manual: The Step-By-Step Guide for Building a Great Company