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Embodiment in 18th Century Depictions of Human-Machine Co-Creativity

Falk, Michael, Kantosalo, Anna, Jordanous, Anna (2021) Embodiment in 18th Century Depictions of Human-Machine Co-Creativity. Frontiers in Robotics and AI, . ISSN 2296-9144. (doi:10.3389/frobt.2021.662036) (KAR id:88875)


Artificial intelligence has a rich history in literature; fiction has shaped how we view artificial agents and their capacities in the real world. This paper looks at embodied examples of human-machine co-creation from the literature of the Long 18th Century (1650–1850), examining how older depictions of creative machines could inform and inspire modern day research. The works are analyzed from the perspective of design fiction with special focus on the embodiment of the systems and the creativity exhibited by them. We find that the chosen examples highlight the importance of recognizing the environment as a major factor in human-machine co-creative processes and that some of the works seem to precede current examples of artificial systems reaching into our everyday lives. The examples present embodied interaction in a positive, creativity-oriented way, but also highlight ethical risks of human-machine co-creativity. Modern day perceptions of artificial systems and creativity can be limited to some extent by the technologies available; fictitious examples from centuries past allow us to examine such limitations using a Design Fiction approach. We conclude by deriving four guidelines for future research from our fictional examples: 1) explore unlikely embodiments; 2) think of situations, not systems; 3) be aware of the disjunction between action and appearance; and 4) consider the system as a situated moral agent.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.3389/frobt.2021.662036
Uncontrolled keywords: human-machine co-creativity, embodiment, creativity, design fiction, literature, digital humanities, computational creativity
Subjects: P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General)
Q Science > QA Mathematics (inc Computing science) > QA 75 Electronic computers. Computer science
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Arts and Humanities > School of English
Divisions > Division of Computing, Engineering and Mathematical Sciences > School of Computing
Depositing User: Michael Falk
Date Deposited: 28 Jun 2021 10:49 UTC
Last Modified: 14 Nov 2022 23:12 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

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