Computational Creativity - CO659

Location Term Level Credits (ECTS) Current Convenor 2018-19
Canterbury Spring
View Timetable
6 15 (7.5) DR CG Johnson


CO320 (prerequisite) and CO520 (prerequisite or co-requisite), or comparable programming
competence (in the latter case, please contact course convenors beforehand to confirm
before registering).





The module aim is to give students an overview and understanding of key
theoretical, practical and philosophical research and issues around
computational creativity, and to give them practical experience in writing and
evaluating creative software.

The module will cover the following topics:
  • Introduction to computational creativity
  • Examples of computational creativity software e.g. musical systems,
    artistic systems, linguistic systems, proof generator systems,
    furniture design systems
  • Evaluation of computational creativity systems (both of the quality
  • and the creativity of systems)
  • Philosophical issues concerning creativity in computers
  • Comparison of computer creativity to human creativity
  • Collaborative creativity between humans and computers
  • Overview of recent research directions/results in computational
  • creativity
  • Practical experience in writing creative software
  • Details

    This module appears in:

    Contact hours

    22 hours of lectures
    11 hours of practical classes
    12 hours of student-led seminars, in the second half of the term

    Method of assessment

    Examination (50%)
    Two assessed pieces of coursework (20% and 30%).

    Indicative reading

    Artificial Intelligence and Creativity: An Interdisciplinary Approach, edited
    by Terry Dartnall, published by Springer, 1994, ISBN 978-0792330615
    • The Creative Mind: Myths and Mechanisms by Margaret A. Boden, published
    by Routledge, 1990/2003 ISBN 978-0415314534
    • Computers and Creativity edited by Jon McCormack and Mark d'Inverno
    published by Springer, 2012, ISBN 978-3-642-31726-2
    • Exploding The Creativity Myth: The Computational Foundations of
    Linguistic Creativity, by Tony Veale, published by Bloomsbury Acad. & Prof.,
    2012, ISBN 978-1441181725
    • Musical Creativity: Multidisciplinary Research in Theory and Practice,
    edited by Irene Deliege and Geraint Wiggins, published by Psychology Press,
    2006, ISBN 978-1841695082
    • Web comics that transform our understanding of
    Computers and Creativity, by Tony Veale, 2014.
    • Selected papers from special journal issues on computational creativity, 2006-
    present, as listed at

    See the library reading list for this module (Canterbury)

    See the library reading list for this module (Medway)

    Learning outcomes

    State and compare the various definitions of computational and human
    creativity, to discuss the various philosophical issues relating to
    computational and human creativity, and to relate these to specific
    examples of creative software e.g. software which composes music,
    writes stories, or creates scientific hypotheses.

    Describe a number of computational creativity systems, both standalone
    and collaborative, to describe the techniques used in implementing
    them, and describe how they are used in specific examples across a
    number of creative domains in the arts and sciences.

    Write software that implements computational creativity techniques,
    grounded in an understanding of research in the area, applied to a
    variety of domains in the arts and sciences.

    Describe, employ and debate methods for evaluation of computational

    Identify appropriate contexts for using computational creativity, and
    design an appropriate system for that context

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