On impact and evaluation in computational creativity: A discussion of the Turing test and an alternative proposal

Alison Pease, Simon Colton

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference PaperResearchpeer-review

62 Citations (Scopus)


Computational Creativity is the AI subfield in which we study how to build computational models of creative thought in science and the arts. From an engineering perspective, it is desirable to have concrete measures for assessing the progress made from one version of a program to another, or for comparing and contrasting different software systems for the same creative task. We describe the Turing Test and versions of it which have been used in order to measure progress in Computational Creativity. We show that the versions proposed thus far lack the important aspect of interaction, without which much of the power of the Turing Test is lost. We argue that the Turing Test is largely inappropriate for the purposes of evaluation in Computational Creativity, since it attempts to homogenise creativity into a single (human) style, does not take into account the importance of background and contextual information for a creative act, encourages superficial, uninteresting advances in front-ends, and rewards creativity which adheres to a certain style over that which creates something which is genuinely novel. We further argue that although there may be some place for Turing-style tests for Computational Creativity at some point in the future, it is currently untenable to apply any defensible version of the Turing Test. As an alternative to Turing-style tests, we introduce two descriptive models for evaluating creative software, the FACE model which describes creative acts performed by software in terms of tuples of generative acts, and the IDEA model which describes how such creative acts can have an impact upon an ideal audience, given ideal information about background knowledge and the software development process. While these models require further study and elaboration, we believe that they can be usefully applied to current systems as well as guiding further development of creative systems.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAISB 2011
Subtitle of host publicationComputing and Philosophy
Number of pages8
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2011
Externally publishedYes
EventAISB Symposium on Computing and Philosophy 2011 - York, United Kingdom
Duration: 4 Apr 20117 Apr 2011

Publication series

NameAISB 2011: Computing and Philosophy


ConferenceAISB Symposium on Computing and Philosophy 2011
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom

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