Art(ificial): Generation of Creative Visual Metaphor for Communicating Intension

Dan Ventura (Principal Investigator)

Brigham Young University
Provo, UT 84602

Art can be a profound communication medium and is a rather explicit example of creative process. This project explores creativity in the context of an (artificial) artist – a system that produces visual representation for the purpose of communicating an internal concept to the viewer. Viewers that experience a connection to the artist via this communication are implicitly and powerfully influenced to attribute creativity to the artist. Since creators are seen to be (or not to be) creative through the perceptions of others, a significant aspect of creativity is the ability of the creator to convince others (explicitly or implicitly) that he or she possesses the attribute.

Initially, the project will focus on constructing a system that autonomously creates visual art based on a subject image and "markets" itself by explaining its selection of subject, choice of style, etc. and possibly the "concept" the artefact is intended to convey. Eventually, the project will work from an internal concept model to produce an artefact intended to implicitly communicate that concept. The successful completion of the project will result in a computational system to which creativity can be attributed and will explore the role of creativity in understanding and communicating concepts (through visual metaphor). The project will involve work in a broad variety of fields including computer vision, natural language processing, cognitive science, design and art, suggesting the potential for interesting advances at the intersection of several of these areas. The project also initiates a dialogue with the artistic community regarding whether artificial systems can successfully establish this kind of abstract communication with human recipients; for example, we have established a collaboration with one of the largest and best attended art museums in the Mountain West, and they have indicated a willingness to pursue a significant exhibition event.