Mere Generation: Essential Barometer or Dated Concept?

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Dan Ventura: Mere Generation: Essential Barometer or Dated Concept?. In: Computational Creativity 2016 ICCC 2016, 17-24



The computational creativity community (rightfully) takes a dim view of supposedly creative systems that operate by mere generation. However, what exactly this means has never been adequately defined, and therefore the idea of requiring systems to exceed this standard is problematic. Here, we revisit the question of mere generation and attempt to qualitatively identify what constitutes exceeding this threshold. This exercise leads to the conclusion that the question is likely no longer relevant for the field and that a failure to recognize this is likely detrimental to its future health.

Extended Abstract


 author = {Dan Ventura},
 title = {Mere Generation: Essential Barometer or Dated Concept?},
 booktitle = {Proceedings of the Seventh International Conference on Computational Creativity},
 series = {ICCC2016},
 year = {2016},
 month = {Jun-July},
 location = {Paris, France},
 pages = {17-24},
 url = { },
 publisher = {Sony CSL Paris},

Used References

Colton, S.; Charnley, J.; and Pease, A. 2011. Computational creativity theory: The FACE and IDEA descriptive models. In Proceedings of the Second International Conference on Computational Creativity, 90–95.

Jordanous, A. 2012. A standardised procedure for evaluating creative systems: Computational creativity evaluation based on what it is to be creative. Cognitive Computation 4(3):246–279.

Ritchie, G. 2007. Some empirical criteria for attributing creativity to a computer program. Minds and Machines 17:67– 99.

Ventura, D. 2008. A reductio ad absurdum experiment in sufficiency for evaluating (computational) creative systems. In Proceedings of the 5th International Joint Workshop on Computational Creativity, 11–19.


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