Enhancing Creativity with Niche Construction

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Jon McCormack: Enhancing Creativity with Niche Construction. In: Harold Fellermann, Mark Dörr, Martin M. Hanczyc, Lone Ladegaard Laursen, Sarah Maurer, Daniel Merkle, Pierre-Alain Monnard, Kasper Stoy and Steen Rasmussen (eds.), Artificial Life XII (Proceedings of the Twelfth International Conference on the Synthesis and Simulation of Living Systems) Odense, Dennmark. MIT Press, Cambridge MA, pp. 525-532



We address the question of how processes from evolution- ary biological ecosystems can be abstracted and beneficially applied in creative domains. Evolution is a process capa- ble of generating appropriate (fit) novelty in biological sys- tems, so it is interesting to ask if it can do so in other, non- biological systems. Past approaches have focused on optimi- sation via fitness evaluation (either machine representable or human evaluated), but this is ill-suited to creative systems, as creativity is not necessarily an optimisation process. Our approach is to consider the creative system as a virtual evolu- tionary ecosystem, specifically adopting the process of niche construction. We show how the abstracted niche construction process can be applied to an agent-based line drawing sys- tem, enhancing the diversity and heterogeneity of drawings produced over a version without niche construction.

Extended Abstract


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