The Creative Value of Bad Ideas


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A simple computational model that captures creative visual reasoning

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  • Ideational fluency or quality variance? maximise the total number of ideas vs. the quality of one or a very small number of great ideasHelps to clarify and question assumptions, reveal insights, test hypotheses and in general help our thinking about creativity and potentially inspire innovative research and practice
  • Here, ideas of low accessibility that still satisfy the task’s goal can be considered as preferred over ideas that are commonly found across simulation ru. When r = 1.0, the idea space has a uniform accessibility distribution, whilst as r approaches 0, variance increases indicating that a few ‘gems’ are found in a ‘dense haystack’. ns
  • 2. Combinatorial or derivative processes in ideation are more efficient when they act upon a highly diverse population of initial ideas
  • The Creative Value of Bad Ideas

    1. 1. The Creative Value of Bad IdeasA Computational Model of Creative IdeationRicardo SosaJohn S. Gero
    2. 2. Key ideas1. Ideational fluency vs. quality variance2. Simple computational models to supportinsights for future research and practice3. Assumptions about ideation:1. Some ideas are easier to access than others2. Ideas are connected to each other4. Exploration and exploitation strategies5. Distinguish ideas according to their potential togenerate new ideas
    3. 3. Idea accessibilityLikelihood to generate a particular idea or set ofideas for a given design task: conformity metrics(commonplace–original)Idea connectivityLikelihood of one idea leading to other ideas(fitness landscapes, network linkages, trains ofthought)
    4. 4. Computational models of creativity1. Generative models:“Can computers ever be creative?”2. Systemic models:“Can computation help us understand creativity?”
    5. 5. Computational models of creativityContributions can inform other researchtraditions by:• Framing new hypotheses• Testing the consistency and implications ofassumptions• Proposing new experimental settingsIn-vivo, in-vitro, in-silico studies of creativity
    6. 6. Computational model of ideation“Use g geometries of s sides as the initial elements togenerate as many different compositions (g’s’) of morethan g geometries of equal or more s sides”
    7. 7. Computational model of ideation{4,0,4,2,0, (3,3,3,4)} {4,1,3,0,2,4, (3,3,4,4)} {3,1,4,1,0, (3,3,6)} {3,2,3,1,0, (4,5,5)} {5,1,5,0,0, (3,3,3,5,5)}Accessibility: givenby mean frequencyof solutions(exploration) overrepeated casesExploitation: aguided searchinformed by rules(‘design concepts’)inferred fromexperienceConnectivity:mapping of designconcepts leading tonew solutions(exploitation)
    8. 8. Findings1. Choice of representation shown to influencethe type and degree of creativity2. Exploration/exploitation rate of .25/.75 =highest number of total ideas… due to higheridea variances upon which exploitation buildson novel ideas
    9. 9. 3. Ideation types:– Solutions of low-accessibility leading tosolutions of high-accessibility: a “difficultway to reach easy ideas”– Low-accessibility solutions that lead tonew solutions of low accessibility too:“uncommon ideas that yield otheruncommon ideas”– High accessibility ideas connected to lowaccessibility ideas: “easy shortcuts to reachrare ideas”*
    10. 10. 4. Bad ideas can be very valuable forcreative ideation:– Low-score or invalid solutions that lead tovaluable and uncommon solutionsTask: “to find 3 or more final geometries and shapes of 5 sides”a) solution {2,1,3,2,0 (3,6)} and b) solution {4,1,3,2,0 (3,3,4,5)}
    11. 11. “The best way to get good ideasis to get lots of ideas”“…and the best way to get lots ofideas is to first generate a fewthat are as different as possibleand then strategically build onthem”“…including some seeminglybad ideas”Linus Pauling, the only personto be awarded two unsharedNobel PrizesA very simplecomputational model
    12. 12. DiscussionNeeded: research in facilitation techniques thatmonitor idea accessibility –or variance metricsAccessibility-based tools to balanceexploration/exploitation ratioConnectivity-based tools to inform theexploitation strategies
    13. 13. DiscussionNew studies and metrics of ideation totarget the value of new ideas based ontheir potential to trigger more ideas