Where Creativity Comes From: The Social Spaces Of Embodied Minds

Sense Editor
August 28, 2012


This paper explores creative design, social interaction and perception. It proposes that creativity at a social level is not a result of many individuals trying to be creative at a personal level, but occurs naturally in the social interaction between comparatively simple minds embodied in a complex world. Particle swarm algorithms can model group interaction in shared spaces, but design space is not necessarily one pre-defined space of set parameters on which everyone can agree, as individual minds are very different. A computational model is proposed that allows a similar swarm to occur between spaces of different description and even dimensionality.

This work proposes that the primary role of the mind is to take in, and make sense of the world, rather than stressing innovation for its own sake. But in making sense of what it takes in, it necessarily develops a new point of view that produces the innovation naturally. When two agents share the same examples in their domain, their perceptual frameworks become more aligned to one another by repeated exposure to those examples, but on examples outside the domain they may always disagree, as colleagues in work may disagree on politics or art. These variations in other dimensions continue to motivate the group, while the role of the group in this respect is to pull the individual along. So where does individual creativity happen? Where does group creativity happen? These may not be separate questions. It may also be the case that creativity at a global level does not always come from an intentional effort on the part of the individual, but that novelty is sometimes a product of the interaction between the different parts of a creative system. Thus it is an emergent phenomenon that can happen at any level, among groups, neurons, agents or us.