SOCIAL SIMULATION OF SCIENTIFIC CREATIVITY. Paul Thagard University of Waterloo. Outline. Creativity Simulating scientific consensus Social simulation of emotion Social simulation of creativity Procedural creativity. Creativity. Scientific discovery Technological invention
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SOCIAL SIMULATION OF SCIENTIFIC CREATIVITY Paul Thagard University of Waterloo
Outline • Creativity • Simulating scientific consensus • Social simulation of emotion • Social simulation of creativity • Procedural creativity
Creativity Scientific discovery Technological invention Social innovation Artistic creativity
Creativity Questions • What is creativity? • What are the mental processes that promote creativity? • What are the social processes that promote creativity? • Do different domains of creativity require different mental and social processes?
What is Creativity? A creative product is: • new (novel, original), • valuable (important, useful, appropriate, correct, accurate), and • surprising (unexpected, non-obvious). Exemplars: relativity theory, television, public education, Starry Night Typical features: new, valuable, surprising Explanatory roles: Creativity explains success, etc.
Cognitive Creativity 1. Combinatorial conjecture: Creativity results from novel combinations of representations (Koestler, Boden, Dugald Stewart, etc.). 2. In humans, mental representations are patterns of neural activity. 3. Neural representations are multimodal, encompassing information that can be visual, auditory, tactile, olfactory, gustatory, kinesthetic, and emotional, as well as verbal. 4. Results: Thagard & Stewart AHA ! (2011), Thagard (2012) The Cognitive Science of Science.
Scientific Consensus CCC: Consensus = coherence + communication. Thagard (2000) Coherence in Thought and Action. Individual scientific agents evaluate hypotheses with respect to evidence on the basis of explanatory coherence. Agents exchange hypotheses and evidence and then re-evaluate coherence. Consensus is reached when all agents accept the same hypotheses. Applications: causes of ulcers; origin of the moon.
Emotional Consensus HOTCO 3: Hot (emotional) coherence in group decision making. Thagard and Kroon (2005). Thagard (2006) Hot Thought. Agents make decisions based on emotional assessments of actions with respect to goals. Emotional communication of valences proceeds through contagion, altruism, and means-ends processing. Simulations: couples, academic hiring, energy decisions (Institut Futur).
Emotions in Scientific Thinking beauty happiness interest curiosity wonder happiness hope happiness surprise Generate questions Try to answer questions Generate answers Evaluate answers fear anger frustration avoid boredom worry disappointment
Emotions and Creativity • Emotions provide motivation. James Watson: never do anything boring. • Emotions provide evaluation: excitement, elegance, disgust, etc. • Emotions communicate motivation and evaluation in social groups, including scientists.
Social Mechanisms Cognitive communication: beliefs, etc. Affective communication: Mirror neurons Emotional contagion via mimicry Attachment-based learning Empathy and emotional analogy Altruism and sympathy Emotional cuing, e.g. anger -> guilt Power: provide something desired, or threaten something feared, generating motivated and fear-driven inferences. Propaganda, advertising.
Design for Social Simulation of Creativity • From CCC and HOTCO 3: Scientific community consists of agents with complex cognitive and emotional processes, with both cognitive and emotional communication. • From AHA (2011) new neural representations generated by combinations of old ones, with emotional reactions. • Approximation of neural representations: vectors, including emotional representations. • Agents communicate vectors, and generate new combinations with emotional evaluations.
Design for Social Simulation of Creativity • From PI (Thagard 1988, Computational Philosophy of Science): Hypothesis formation – abduction. • From Mental Leaps (Holyoak and Thagard, 1995): analogical retrieval, mapping, and transfer.
7. Procedural Creativity The products of scientific creativity include concepts, hypotheses, and methods. Procedural creativity is the generation of new methods: ways of accomplishing goals. Technology, art, and social innovation also generate new methods, e.g. impressionism.
Procedural Creativity: Scientific Examples Naturalistic explanation (Thales, c. 600 BC). Experimentation (Ibn al-Haytham, 1021). Mathematical science (Galileo, 1590). Telescope (Galileo, 1609). Microscope (Malpighi, 1660). Calculus (Newton, 1666). Statistical inference (Bernoulli, 1689). Taxonomy (Linnaeus, 1735). Spectroscopy (Kirchoff and Bunson (1859). Polymerase chain reaction (Mullis, 1983).
Procedural Creativity: Cognitive Representation Methods can be represented as rules: IF you want to accomplish goal G, THEN follow procedure P. Goals and procedures are not just verbal, but can be multimodal (visual, kinesthetic, auditory, touch, taste, smell, etc.). So the IF and THEN parts of some rules need to be represented by neural patterns, or vectors as an approximation. See the Semantic Pointer Architecture of Eliasmith (2013) How to Build a Brain.
Procedural Creativity: Cognitive Process Productive generalization: Input: Goal, techniques consisting of one or more steps, a problem solution showing that using the steps leads to accomplishment of the goal. Output: A method with the structure: If you want to accomplish the goal, then use the technique consisting of the steps. Process: Identify the steps that led to the goal, and generalize them into the method, with multimodal representations.
Method: Cognitive-Affective Maps Collaboration with political scientists on conflict resolution and climate change. Goal: graphical method to display emotional coherence.
Method: Cognitive-Affective Maps Procedure: use ovals (+) and hexagons (-) to represent emotional elements. Improvements: ambivalence node, Empathica program. Applications: climate change, etc.
Procedural Creativity:Social Contributions • Other people provide goals. • Other people provide some of the steps in the solution. • Other people provide useful modifications. • Emotional communication of value. • Other people provide applications of the method.
Procedural Creativity:Social Simulation • Multiple agents capable of procedural creativity • Communication of goals • Communication of steps in the procedure • Other people provide applications of the method
Conclusions • Creativity results from combination of representations and other cognitive processes. • Social creativity requires communication of representations and emotions. • Simulation is feasible!