Nicholas’ research is part of the academic field called Computational Creativity that investigates ways to make computers generate creative products or use technology to support and enhance human creativity. He is founding a company that will be one of the earliest companies dedicated solely to investigating the new frontier of human users collaborating with computationally creative computer colleagues on creative tasks. The first creative domain this research investigates is abstract art because it has a low threshold of entry for creative contributions. There really aren’t ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ lines in abstract artworks like there are in representational artwork, which makes it easier to design a program that appears to be an intelligent and intentional abstract artist.
Our system, called Apprentice, collaborates with human users as they draw on a digital canvas. The user draws a line and the system draws a line back– the user and system play a turn taking collaborative art game. The structure of interaction and turn taking can be changed to facilitate different creative experiences. Apprentice analyzes each line the user draws and generates real time line responses it predicts will add value to the artwork. If you want to learn more details about the Apprentice project, you can check out the Creative Startup Blog documenting a startup based on the drawing program, or check out my website for additional information.