The Creative Value of Distant Analogies

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The Creative Value of Distant Analogies

  1. 1. The Creative Value of Distant Analogies Ricardo Sosa Singapore University of Technology and Design ricardo_sosa@sutd.edu.sg
  2. 2. http://www.sutd.edu.sg/idc_projects.aspx RoboMods: Design Principles for Self-reconfigurable Modular Robots PartE: Participatory Evaluation for Design with the Developing World
  3. 3. - Thank you -
  4. 4. This paper: one way to establish the concept distance of analogies, and its correlation with the ascription of creative value
  5. 5. source <is like> target <because> entailment
  6. 6. creative value of new analogies: “they alter the conceptual system and the perceptions and actions that the system gives rise to” Lakoff, G., and Johnson, M. (2003). Metaphors We Live By. University of Chicago Press.
  7. 7. : an online micro-blogging natural, ongoing massive ideation process
  8. 8. “is/are like” “es/son como” “c’est/sont comme” Twitter account: @CreativeAnalogy
  9. 9. Types of analogies
  10. 10. entailments • None: only the source-target mapping is provided (“Bubble wrap is like catnip for people” @iSpeakComedy) • Single: one, usually simple, explanation is offered to justify the mapping (“Google is like a woman because before you can finish a sentence, it’s making suggestions” @trinomonero) • Multiple: analogy is explained by more than one shared attribute (“Love is like war: easy to start, difficult to finish, and impossible to forget” @ItsRealBrent) • New entailments: a novel reasoning created to account for conventional analogies (“Life is like a box of chocolates, it doesn't last as long for fat people” @ophies_best)
  11. 11. mapping • Direct relationship: mapping between source and target is directly proportional (“Love is like a disease: one always ends in bed” @elprota) • Inverse relationship: source-target mapping includes an inverse or reciprocal relation (“My father is like Pope Benedict XVI, but without the sainthood, the Popemobile and the red shoes; he is just jobless” @TheOMGio) • Incomplete relationship: source-target pairing includes an incomplete or exceptional relation (“Having a bad cold is like having a bad hangover without the exhilarating memories” @perlapell)
  12. 12. culture • Wordplay: language-specific figures of speech (“Hip hop is like scissors, it always loses to Rock” @BrodonRexx) • Cultural references: involving signifiers specific to a community or country (“Une FIFA sans music c'est comme Tintin sans Milou” @OdaiaLcmb) • Cross-cultural references: involving signifiers from different communities or countries (“Jack Nicholson es como el Loco Valdez gringo” @DrTopCat)
  13. 13. formulaic • Double-pair mappings: two verb-noun or noun-noun pairs mapped (“Arguing with a fool to prove your point is like trying to cool down a burning coal by fanning it, it'll only get worse” @IbnAther) • Impossible relationships: mapping used expressly to denote an impossibility (“Sleeping on Sunday nights is like a giraffe barking, it’s impossible” @1DTMHUpdate) • Monotonic relationships: circular mappings (“Dennis Rodman being an Ambassador for the United States is like having Dennis Rodman as an Ambassador for the United States” @birbigs)
  14. 14. Commonness
  15. 15. 1: Sources are far more convergent than targets {Great potential of target concepts in creative analogies} Source concepts Target concepts love 67 women 12 life 54 girlfriend 9 women 47 books 7 Twitter 45 penis 7 people 32 babies 6 friends 16 box of chocolates 6 marriage 12 drunks 6 impossible 11 friends 6 relationships 11 Santa Claus 6 friendship 10 boyfriend 5 men 10 cars 5 ex-boyfriend 9 children 5 girlfriend 9 Christmas 5 feelings 7 condoms 5 kiss 7 dogs 5 writing 7 kiss 5 book 6 masturbation 5 Facebook 6 water 5 Google 6 weather 5 happiness 5 bees 4 mobile phone 5 cats 4 success 5 clock 4 advertising 4 Coca-Cola 4 children 4 coffee 4 laws 4 ex-girlfriend 4 Mondays 4 farts 4 opinions 4 films 4 Pope 4 Jesus 4 religion 4 Monopoly 4 St Patrick's Day 4 shoes 4 tweet 4 toilet paper 4 underwear 4 wine 4
  16. 16. Type 1: common source + common target Type 2: common source + uncommon target Type 3: uncommon source + common target Type 4: uncommon source + uncommon target cut-off line set here to ≥4 mentions 2: Taxonomy by concept originality
  17. 17. Concept distance
  18. 18. Lexical structure of WordNet: is–a has–part is–made–of is–an–attribute–of http://wordnet.princeton.edu
  19. 19. path_length • vacation/holiday = 1 • run/jog = 0.5 • coffee/tea = 0.333 • milk/water = 0.25 • table/crab = 0.1429 • vocabulary/violin = 0.0667 • zebra/winter = 0.0476 (Creative potential: disambiguation of terms by choosing alternative glosses)
  20. 20. path_length distribution 0 0.1 0.2 0.3 0.4 0.5 0.6 0.7 1 11 21 31 41 51 61 71 81 91 101 111 121 131 141 151 (Most within 1 stdev)
  21. 21. Survey
  22. 22. “Rate the analogies from 1 (not creative) to 5 (extremely creative); the aim is to understand how people perceive everyday conceptual metaphors or analogies”
  23. 23. 3: Analogies with closer source- target concept pairs are rated less creative than distant concept pairs Source Target survey path_length softener conditioner 0.61 0.5 saint_patrick's_day saint_valentine's_day 0.62 0.3333 feet hands 0.7 0.25 women children 0.71 0.2 boss killer 0.78 0.1667 abdomen breasts 0.81 0.1429 sleep die 0.69 0.125 die sleep 0.79 0.125 woman planet 0.71 0.1111 aloe_vera politicians 0.95 0.1111 flu hangover 0.71 0.1 communication oxygen 0.73 0.1 father Pope 0.85 0.1 life karaoke 0.97 0.1 love war 1 0.0909 love santa_claus 0.69 0.0833 documentary blockbuster 0.76 0.0833 courtship murder 0.76 0.0833 life chocolates 0.81 0.0833 love diarrhoea 0.86 0.0833 love water 0.9 0.0833 politics religion 0.91 0.0769 lies snowballs 0.79 0.0714 compliments perfume 0.93 0.0714 love soccer 0.73 0.0667 love crayon 0.89 0.0667 life soap 0.97 0.0667 intelligence underwear 1.1 0.0667 love rain 0.8 0.0625 life ice_cream 0.92 0.0625 love hourglass 0.87 0.0556 life taxi 0.98 0.0556 life bull 0.99 0.0417 (Entailments not considered)
  24. 24. This paper: one way to establish the concept distance of analogies, and its correlation with the ascription of creative value
  25. 25. Aim: to understand if and how analogies influence the quality and variety of creative ideas, and to build computational support systems that facilitate Design-by-Analogy
  26. 26. - Thank you -
  27. 27. FAQs 1. It is not completely clear to me how this could be used to influence the quality of ideas in ideation 2. A distinction should be made between the judgment of whether an analogy is creative and the creative value of that analogy 3. I think “creative value” needs to be carefully dissected, and asked about in context and piece by piece 4. While many of the examples are funny, they are also often a bit offensive or controversial to one group or another 5. The method needs to be detailed and expanded for all categorization and classification components in the paper 6. The statement that “distant analogies seem particularly useful for creativity” seems oversimplified from the literature

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