Re: Algorithms and Creativity

From: Belcher, Ian (
Date: Tue May 28 1996 - 13:57:09 BST

Q: Can there be an algorithm for creativity?

A: An algorithm is a mechanical procedure which
manipulates symbols using a series of rules/codes that one
can follow, in order to obtain a result. An example would be
building a chair with instructions, like "...take the base,
and attach all four legs using screws..." The algorithm must
be mechanical, so that you don't have to think about it, or
know what it means, (thus no homunculus is needed.)

Creativity on the other hand reuires a homunculus. When we
are creative, we may do alot of thinking which requires
understanding. For instance, the person who invented the
computer realised that there was a need for some sort of
information-storing machine, and set about creating one.
This person had to understand firstly there was a need for a
computer, then had to design one, using his creativity. How
could you "program" something or someone with a series of
rules making them creative? To design something original,
based on no previous knowledge of what is being designed is

In conclusion therefore, I believe that one cannot have an
algorithm, (something that doesn't include a honunculus,)
for creativity, (something that does require a homunculus.)

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