Generative and Adaptive Creativity: A Unified Approach to Creativity in Nature. Humans and Machines

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Oliver Bown: Generative and Adaptive Creativity: A Unified Approach to Creativity in Nature. Humans and Machines. In: McCormack & d’Inverno: Computers and Creativity, Springer, Berlin, 2012, 361-381



Computational creativity is not limited to the study of human-like creativity and forces us to think about creativity as a general process that can be applied wherever new things come into existence. In this chapter I propose that in order to unify various forms of creativity it is necessary to consider a distinction between two types of creativity: generative creativity, in which things are created as the result of a process regardless of their value, and adaptive creativity, in which things are created as adaptive responses by a system to its situation. Whilst individual human creativity is typically of the adaptive form, collectively humans are engaged in processes of generative creativity as well as adaptive creativity. It is helpful to understand human creative behaviour as part of a social process involving these two aspects, and this is relevant to understanding how manmade artefacts can act as creative agents in social networks.

Extended Abstract


booktitle={Computers and Creativity},
editor={McCormack, Jon and d’Inverno, Mark},
title={Generative and Adaptive Creativity: A Unified Approach to Creativity in Nature, Humans and Machines},
url={ },
publisher={Springer Berlin Heidelberg},
author={Bown, Oliver},

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