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Posted on 24 May 2018

Four CogNovians at UKCreativity

Four former CogNovo research fellows presented their work at this year’s UK Creativity 2018 conference on 22 May 2018 at the Canterbury Christ Church University. The submitted works were either direct results of their PhD projects at CogNovo or outcomes of collaborations during previous events as part of this interdisciplinary doctoral training programme.

Thomas R. Colin gave an oral presentation titled 'A machine learning model of insight'. Here he described a Deep Reinforcement Learning system based on the Option-Critic architecture which is capable of solving problems through ‘insight’. In the work with Tony Belpaeme he argued for the similarity of this machine learning approach with insightful human problem solving and the Aha moment observed in apes, for example by Koehler.

In the talk 'Your thought is no train - Towards a multi-layered model of creative processes' Frank Loesche and Guido Bugmann took a different look at how architects create. In his PhD project, Frank interviewed architects about their creative processes and developed a laboratory-based task 'Dira' to trace the moment when solutions emerge. During the short talk, he used part of the qualitative data to build an argument for a multi-layered model.

Pinar Oztop presented the poster 'Once upon a time: Collaborative creativity of children and adolescents in story writing' which she authored with her CogNovo supervisor Michaela Gummerum. In a collaborative creativity task conducted with children between 10 and 14 years of age, they find social perspective taking coordination, age, and task cohesion to predict the performance in a story-writing task. Interestingly they did not find intrinsic motivation to play a role in this age group.

Klara Łucznik presented the poster 'Improvisation: A GIFT for interdisciplinary research', an idea she initially developed with co-author Frank Loesche. Intrigued by the experiences during interdisciplinary events during the time of CogNovo, they re-imagined research as improvisation. By drawing parallels to improvisation as a practice in contemporary dance, Klara and Frank identified 'Generosity', 'Interdependence', 'Free exploration', and 'Trust' as essential prerequisites for successful collaboration in research. Evidence for the success is provided through the publication of a special issue with AVANT.

This year’s UK Creativity conference featured Todd Lubart, who gave a keynote on the classification of creativity research into 7-Cs. He introduced the idea as an alternative to Rhodes' 4-P (1961) and Glăveanu’s 5-A (2013) classification. In a panel discussion chaired by Karl Jeffries, Todd Lubart, Jonathan Plucker, Janet McDonnell, and Linden Ball discussed the current state of research on creativity. They highlighted in particular the overlap between applied research, design thinking, and the psychology of creativity for the research presented at the conference. They further suggested to approach creativity as a topic from different perspectives and to emphasise the complexity and interdisciplinarity of the creativity research. These aspects were reflected by the breadth of topics of the 10 talks and more than 25 posters presented during the conference.