Automated collage generation — with intent

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Anna Krzeczkowska, Jad El-Hage, Simon Colton, Stephen Clark: Automated collage generation — with intent. In: Computational Creativity 2010 ICCC 2010. 36-40. (2010)



One reason why software undertaking creative tasks might be perceived of as uncreative is its lack of overall purpose or intent. In computational creativity projects, while some skillful aspects may be undertaken by the computer, there is usually a person driving the process, by making decisions with regard to the intent of the artefact being produced. Such human intervention can take different forms, for instance via the supplying of background information in scientific discovery tasks, or making choices during an evolutionary art session. We are interested in whether a notion of purpose could be projected onto The Painting Fool, an automated painter we hope will one day be taken seriously as a creative artist in its own right [3, 5]. Starting with the maxim that good art makes you think, we have enabled The Painting Fool to produce visual art specifically to invite the viewer to interpret the pieces in the context of the world around them, i.e., to make a point about a current aspect of society. However, we do not prescribe what aspect of modern life it should depict, nor do we describe the art materials – in this case digital images – it should use. Hence, we effectively opt out of specifying a purpose for any individual piece of art. As described in section 2, the software starts with an instruction to access sources of news articles at regular intervals. Then, via text manipulation, text analysis, image retrieval, image manipulation, scene construction and non-photorealistic rendering techniques, the system produces a collage which depicts a particular news story. This is initial work, and more effort is needed to produce collages of more aesthetic and semantic value. We present some preliminary results in section 3, including some illustrative examples and feedback from viewers of the collages produced. In section 4, we describe the next stages for this project.

Extended Abstract


author = {Anna Krzeczkowska, Jad El-Hage, Simon Colton},
title = {Automated collage generation — with intent},
editor = {Dan Ventura, Alison Pease, Rafael P ́erez y P ́erez, Graeme Ritchie and Tony Veale},
booktitle = {Proceedings of the First International Conference on Computational Creativity},
series = {ICCC2010},
year = {2010},
month = {January},
location = {Lisbon, Portugal},
pages = {36-40},
url = {,—_with_intent },
publisher = {International Association for Computational Creativity},
keywords = {computational, creativity},

Used References

1. S Brin and L Page. The anatomy of a large-scale hypertextual web search engine. Computer Networks and ISDN Systems, 30:1–7, 1998.

2. S Colton. Automated Theory Formation in Pure Mathematics. Springer, 2001.

3. S Colton. Creativity versus the perception of creativity in computational systems. In Proceedings of the AAAI Spring Symposium on Creative Systems, 2008.

4. S Colton. Experiments in constraint-based automated scene generation. In Proceed- ings of the 5th International Joint Workshop on Computational Creativity, 2008.

5. S Colton, M Valstar, and M Pantic. Emotionally aware automated portrait painting. In Proc. of the 3rd Int. Conf. on Digital Interactive Media in Ent. & Arts, 2008.

6. J El-Hage. Linguistic analysis for The Painting Fool. Master’s thesis, The Computer Laboratory, University of Cambridge, UK, 2009.

7. A Krzeczkowska. Automated collage generation from text. Master’s thesis, Depart- ment of Computing, Imperial College, London, UK, 2009.

8. R Mihalcea and P Tarau. TextRank: Bringing order into texts. In Proceedings of the Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing, 2004.

9. S Muggleton. Inverse Entailment and Progol. New Generation Computing 13, 2005.


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