Notebooks

Imagination

04 Jun 2013 12:49

Varieties (James, following Galton, classified them by the sense simulated --- visual, verbal, kinetic, etc.) and their inheritance (if any). Evolution, neurology, cognitive mechanisms. Aids to the imagination --- mental techniques, chemicals, machines. (I don't know of any chemicals or machines which work, but would be happy to learn.)

Machines with imagination --- the first to claim that such were possible was, implicitly, La Mettrie, since he (1) claimed human beings are machines and (2) that all human mental faculties are forms of imagination (an idea not uncommon among the pre-romantics and Romanticists, but not what one expects of the hard-core Enlightenment). I think this idea then pretty much lay fallow for two centuries, until people started building computers, at which point questions of machine creativity came up very swiftly. Recently there've been a flurry of computer models of human imagination and creativity, and computer programs intended to create in their own right. Some of them aren't bad --- certainly Aaron draws and EMI composes better than I do.


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