How Could a Copycat Ever be Creative?

D. Hofstadter

Analogy-making in a microdomain is used as the testbed for a computer model of creativity. Among the unusual features of the model are: (1) its nondeterministic parallel-processing architecture, modeled to some extent on architectures for perception; (2) the modeling of concepts as probabilistically overlapping regions; and (3) the fact that the system manufactures its own mutable representations situations, rather than being fed fixed human-made representations. Statistical summaries of large numbers of runs on a few related problems reveal some of the program’s "personality" and "esthetic taste'. The indispensability of calculated risk-taking for creativity is argued, and the intimate relationship between biased randomness and risk-taking is discussed.

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