Johan Hoorn









Johan Hoorn awarded with Lorentz Fellowship at KNAW/NIAS

Lorentz Fellowship "Developing a unified theory of creativity: meaning, mechanisms, models"


Dr. Dr. Johan F. Hoorn


Creativity is a core faculty of the human mind but little is understood about its nature and functions. Yet, creativity is believed to be the nucleus of science, mathematics, the arts, innovation and invention, business, and education. The Dutch government designated the Creative Industries (CI) as a key area of cultural and economic growth for the years to come.

Creativity has been scrutinized from various perspectives, such as philosophy, history, the arts, social sciences and psychology, brain studies, artificial intelligence, theoretical computer science, mathematics, and management. What are the commonalities in the different views on creativity? Is it a social process or the unique insight of an outstanding individual? Is it a conscious mental act or not? Is creativity a fortunate coincidence in a chaotic universe, a moment of divine inspiration, or the inevitable outcome of a deterministic process? How do you measure creativity? How to establish a common language to cross disciplinary boundaries?

At KNAW/NIAS, I want to bring together researchers from the humanities, sciences, and social sciences to study the different paradigms on creativity such as evolution, creationism, and probability. I want to confront these researchers with a range of hypotheses and from these discussions arrive at a computational account of the creative process (the mechanisms of creativity). The computer-generated predictions will relate to the meanings of a creation and the effects of a creation on its perceiver. Predicted meanings, mechanisms, and effects should be verified empirically to make the computational model of creativity ecologically valid. I will then summarize the fundamental issues of creativity such that a unified theory of creativity becomes possible. This work should form the basis for a computational model that can generate creative output.


Download the entire newsletter.