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Creativity Showcase

Computational Creativity on the Web

PROSECCO encourages researchers to place the fruits of their CC research onto the Web, in an open fashion that allows others to judge its outputs and its creativity for themselves. In this page you will find a variety of Web-accessible CC systems, a number of which are configured as Web-Services that can be used to provide your own software with a measure of additional creativity, or used to provide that additional competence (in poetry, metaphor, music, etc.) that will make your own system reach its fullest potential.

Computational Creativity on Twitter

Twitter is the ideal midwife for pushing the products of true computational creativity -- such as  metaphors, jokes, aphorisms and story pitches -- into the world. A new twitterbot named MetaphorIsMyBusiness (handle @MetaphorMagnet) employs the metaphor-generation services described below to generate a novel, well-formed, figurative tweet every hour or so. @MetaphorMagnet’s outputs are the product of a complex reasoning process that combines a large knowledge-base of stereotypical norms with real usage data from the Google n-grams. Though encouraged by the quality of the bot’s outputs, we continue to expand its expressive range, to give the twitterbot its own unique voice and identifiable aesthetic. Outputs such as What is an accountant but a timid visionary? What is a visionary but a bold accountant? show how @MetaphorMagnet combines metaphorical comparisons with affective reasoning to craft a distinctly hard-boiled persona. Ongoing work with the bot aims to further develop this sardonic voice.

Some favorite examples:

To disavow and preach against a faith: This can turn noble scientists into unclean infidels. #ScientistOrInfidel

To reject a luxury: This can turn selfrighteous bishops into modest ascetics. #BishopOrAscetic

Not all environmentalists are caring. Some are as predatory as the most carnivorous hunter. Which are you? #EnvironmentalistOrHunter?

Discipline. noun. Collective term for a group of unforgiving disciplinarians and less-than-forgiving parents. #ParentOrDisciplinarian

To be freighted with and burdened with a care: This can turn happy fools into troubled worriers. #FoolOrWorrier

Compassion. noun. Collective term for a group of compassionate pastors and not-so-compassionate extremists. #ExtremistOrPastor

Visit to see all of this CC bot's most recent musings.

Why model Creativity as a Web-Service?

Complex software systems share many similarities with large organizations. Each must be well defined, operate in a predictable fashion, and facilitate an efficient and orderly flow of information. But like large organizations, software systems should continuously engage their users and react with grace and agility when faced with unexpected situations. So imagine if systems could out-source their creative needs to an external service with a track record in computational creativity. This service would not be a cadre of creative workers, but a suite of interoperable tools that provide, on demand, the processes and representations that are key to creative idea generation. Software systems, like organizations, could thus maintain their well-tested structures and disciplined information-flows, while appealing to outside creative services whenever they need to diversify the range of possibilities (both in form and in content) that are available to choose from.

Our vision of a creative Web service imagines three kinds of sub-service: discovery servicescomposition services; and framing services. Each sub-service may rely on different sources of knowledge, but each will use inter-operable data structures and so each can call on other sub-services to achieve its goals. The overall architecture is theory-neutral, yet will provide a diversity of theory-informed sub-services that can be composed in any way that suits a client system’s needs.

PROSECCO Creative Web Services

A number of Creative Web Services have been developed and made available to third-party developers by PROSECCO members. These include:


  • Metaphor Magnet

    This service from PROSECCO partner Tony Veale generates affective metaphors on demand, for a given topic and/or a given affective slant (positive or negative). For instance, one might ask for negatively slanted metaphors for love, or positively slanted metaphors for death, or compare love to death.

  • Stereotrope Poetry Generation

    Metaphor Magnet also provides poetry generation on demand for the affective metaphors and blends that it generates (see above). For instance, a client may ask for a poem based on the conceit that love is a kind of death. Here is a sample poem on this theme:

    My love is a compassionate death
    The grimmest fury is not more sweetly passionate
    Trouble me with the tender sigh of your death
    Let your sweet dream refresh me
    You are suffered by your decedents, they will experience your deaths
    O Love, you menace me with your deathly darkness

  • Thesaurus Rex

    Creativity often arises from an ability to generate divergent perspectives on a familiar topic. The Thesaurus Rex Web-service from PROSECCO partner Tony Veale provides divergent categorization on demand to any application that requires it. For example, one can ask for divergent perspectives on the topic creativity itself, to reveal that creativity is diversely viewed as a mental ability, a spiritual attribute, a soft skill, a wonderful but elusive thing, and so on. Or one can ask Thesaurus Rex to generate the common perspectives that unite creativity & leadership (both are essential managerial skills, etc.) or love & death (both are spiritual states, timeless experiences and natural phenomena).