Milena Z. Fisher
Talk: Interdisciplinary chaos will implode creativity studies - an urgent call for strong cooperation between disciplines
Bio: Milena Z. Fisher, Ph.D is a philosopher (Friedrich Nietzsche scholar) with vast experience in business; she completed post-graduate studies in Public Relations and worked in different branches of that industry - from branding and political marketing to investor relations. She is a co-founder and president of The Creativity Post a non-profit web platform committed to sharing the very best content on creativity, in all of its forms: from scientific discovery to philosophical debate, from entrepreneurial ventures to educational reform, from artistic expression to technological innovation. Milena strongly believes that scientific studies on creativity require more interdisciplinary approaches and multilayered, epistemologically sound, critical investigation of data coming from different disciplines.
Abstract: George A. Miller, one of the heros of the cognitive revolution, reminisced about the process: “It was becoming clear in several disciplines that the solution to some of their problems depended crucially on solving problems traditionally allocated to other disciplines. Collaboration was called for.” The word “interdisciplinarity” is often called in vain, yet in cases of solid, epistemologically sound research on complex phenomena, it is an absolute necessity. A conscious decision for open-minded collaboration between well-established disciplines is desperately needed in the broader field of creativity studies. In this talk I will point out several theoretical and methodological dead-ends in current research on creativity in social sciences; I will warn against the possible dangers of premature applications of its findings, but most and foremost I will plea with computational creativity researchers for a stronger engagement in the process of shaping a strong foundation for a proper understanding of creativity.
Creativity is a highly complex phenomenon and we are at the beginning of the road to understanding it. An integration of distinct perspectives and their methodological approaches, a tension between ontological and epistemological frameworks can produce knowledge, which will be rigorous, applicable and relevant. All disciplines called upon here hold crucial pieces of the puzzle; understanding “creativity” from only one vantage point will never provide a necessary, satisfactory answer. We were not able to describe “cognition” in the realm of one discipline; and we will not be able to crack the enigma of “creativity” by using only one set of tools.
Talk: On Musical Robots and Robotic Musicians
Bio: Gil Weinberg is a professor in Georgia Tech’s School of Music and the founding director of the Georgia Tech Center for Music Technology, where he leads the Robotic Musicianship group. His research focuses on developing artificial creativity and musical expression for robots and augmented humans. Among his projects are a marimba playing robotic musician called Shimon that uses machine learning for jazz improvisation, and a prosthetic robotic arm for amputees that restores and enhances human drumming abilities. Weinberg has presented his work worldwide in venues such as The Kennedy Center, The World Economic Forum, Ars Electronica, Smithsonian Cooper-Hewitt Museum, SIGGRAPH, TED-Ed, DLD and others. His music has been performed with orchestras such as Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin, the National Irish Symphony Orchestra, and the Scottish BBC Symphony while his research has been disseminated through articles and patents. Weinberg received his M.S. and Ph.D. in Media Arts and Sciences from MIT and his undergraduate degree from the interdisciplinary program for fostering excellence in Tel Aviv University.
Abstract: We aim to develop creative robotic musicians that can facilitate meaningful and novel musical interactions with humans. To achieve this goal we combine computational modeling approaches for music perception, interaction, and improvisation, with novel approaches for generating acoustic responses in physical, social, and embodied manners. The motivation for this work is based on the hypothesis that real-time collaboration between human and robotic players can capitalize on the combination of their unique strengths to produce new inspiring music. Our goal is to combine human qualities such as musical expression and emotions with robotic traits such as powerful processing, mechanical virtuosity, the ability to perform sophisticated algorithmic transformations, and the capacity to utilize embodied musical cognition, where the robotic body shapes its musical cognition. The keynote will feature a number of approaches we have explored for perceptual modeling, improvisation, path planning, and gestural interaction with robotic platforms such as Haile, Shimon, Shimi and the robotic drumming prosthesis.