F. Amilcar Cardoso, University of Coimbra, Portugal:

Biography: F. Amilcar Cardoso is a Full Professor at the Department of Informatics Engineering of the University of Coimbra, where he teaches Artificial Intelligence, Computational Creativity, Programming for Design and other topics. He is a member of the Cognitive and Media Systems Group. He developed pioneering work on Computational Creativity in the 90s, and assumed since then an active role in the area. His research mostly developed around the computational modeling of creativity processes by exploring cognitive and bio-inspired approaches. In the last years, his main focus has been on computational models of conceptual blending. His current research interests also include computational approaches to visual and auditory expression.

Abstract: The study of the phenomenon of creativity has led to the development of several models and psycho-cognitive theories that, despite their differences, share the common principle that there is a strong relationship between creative thought and the ability to establish relations between seemingly unrelated domains of knowledge, of spotting unexpected connections that allow to uncover non-obvious ways to transverse a conceptual space and reach unexplored areas. The talk will present an overview of current and past research on applying a psycho-cognitive theory of concept creation, the Conceptual Blending (CB) theory proposed by Fauconnier and Turner, in computational frameworks. We will give special emphasis to research carried out by our team on a computational approach to Conceptual Blending, in particular its first computational implementation, Divago, and subsequent research that is being carried on within the context of the European project ConCreTe.

Pablo Gervas, Complutense University of Madrid, Spain:

Biography: Dr. Pablo Gervas of Universidad Complutense de Madrid is director of both the university’s NIL research group and the Instituto de Tecnologia del Conocimiento. He is one of the world’s leading experts on automatic generation of (fictional) stories and poetry, and has an extensive background in natural language generation, computational creativity and in narratology. His central research focus concerns the study of creativity as applied to the automated generation of literary artifacts with novelty, value and meaning for a human audience. His work on automated story generation has most recently contributed to the computer-assisted generation of a West-End musical in Britain titled "Beyond the Fence".

Abstract: Creativity is a vague term that encompasses not just a very broad range of very different activities (painting, music, writing, designing, problem solving, dancing, theorem proving...) but also a broad range of possible views on those activities (is creativity in the product, in the process or in the person?). We seem to be faced with an umbrella term that covers loosely a very broad range of experience that has yet to be explored with more rigour. It is also very probable that once it has been explored this area of human experience will yield a wealth of more detailed definitions that together articulate a scientific description of it. If this is achieved, the term "creativity" will very likely either become obsolete (much like older terms for describing the world, such as "flogiston" -- which was once believed to be the explanation of why things burn -- or "luminiferous aether" -- which used to explain how light propagates even through vacuum), or at best, that it will defined as a composition of a number of more specific constructs yet to be postulated to explain the mysteries that underly it. The talk will explore the extent to which these uncertainties may constitute risks for the scientific investigation of the associated phenomena, and possible avenues for making progress in spite of them.

Marcus Kracht, University of Bielefeld, Germany:

Biography: Studied Mathematics and Physics in Tübingen and Berlin. 2002 he became assistant professor of computational and mathematical linguistics at UCLA, and full professor at Bielefeld University in 2008. His main specialities are nonclassical logic and formal linguistics.

Abstract: I propose a general calculus to elucidate the road from text to meaning. It is based on so-called conversion schemes and a theory of judgment. The basic idea is that a psychologically realistic conception of meaning should concentrate on judgment rather than providing translation mechanisms into formal languages. This calculus has applications to logics and semantics.

Brian Magerko, Georgia Tech, USA:

Biography: Dr. Magerko is an Associate Professor of Digital Media and head of the Adaptive Digital Media (ADAM) Lab at Georgia Tech. He received his B.S. in Cognitive Science from Carnegie Mellon (1999) and his MS and Ph.D. in Computer Science and Engineering from the University of Michigan (2001, 2006). His research explores the intersection of creativity, cognition, and computing. This interdisciplinary work leads to studying creativity and human cognition, building artificial intelligence systems that can creatively collaborate with human users, and exploring the use of human creativity as a gateway to better understanding how to effectively teach computing skills. Much of this work results in cutting edge digital media experiences in digital games, interactive narrative, and educational media.

Abstract: This talk with discuss how interacting in open-ended creative domains, like sketching or dance, can teach computationally creative systems how to act, react, and express in an improvisational setting. It will use work from Dr. Magerko and his Ph.D. students as exemplar systems that learn to improv, called the Drawing Apprentice and LuminAI. He will discuss the different techniques used for learning creative moves (e.g. deep learning and case-based reasoning), the sociotechnical hurdles experienced in building these real-time co-creative systems, and the artistic outputs of the work.