Archive of Author | Margaret A. Boden

Margaret A. Boden OBE ScD FBA is Research Professor of Cognitive Science at the University of Sussex, where she helped develop the world’s first academic programme in cognitive science. She holds degrees in medical sciences, philosophy, and psychology (including a Harvard PhD, Cambridge ScD, and three honorary doctorates), and integrates these disciplines with AI in her research.

She is a past vice-president of the British Academy and past Chair of Council of the Royal Institution, and an elected Fellow of the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence (and of its British and European equivalents).

Her work has been translated into twenty languages, and she has lectured widely, to specialist and general audiences, around the world. She was the subject of BBC Radio-4’s The Life Scientific in October 2014.

Her recent books include The Creative Mind: Myths and Mechanisms (1990/2004); Mind as Machine: A History of Cognitive Science (2006); and Creativity and Art: Three Roads to Surprise (2010). Her latest (May 2016 ) is AI, Its Nature and Future.

Articles with Margaret A. Boden

Authenticity and Computer Art

“A very common reaction to computer art is to withhold acceptance in principle, to refuse to regard it as authoritative under any circumstances because, inevitably, it lacks authenticity.”

In this article, Margaret A. Boden asks whether the notion of authenticity can be applied to any/all types of computer art. Among other things, she describes some of the problems faced by David Cope when people refused to accept his Emmy-program’s compositions as “music”.

Creativity in a Nutshell

“Human creativity is something of a mystery, not to say a paradox. One new idea may be creative, while another is merely new. What’s the difference? And how is creativity possible? Creative ideas are unpredictable. Sometimes, they even seem to be impossible — and yet they happen. How can that be explained? Could a scientific psychology help us to understand how creativity is possible?”

When ‘The Creative Mind: Myths and Mechanisms’ was first published, Margaret A. Boden’s bold and provocative exploration of creativity broke new ground. In this book she uses examples such as jazz improvisation, chess, story writing, physics, and the music of Mozart, together with computing models from the field of artificial intelligence to uncover the nature of human creativity in the arts.

This article formed the introduction to the book and is republished for the Interalia Magazine with the kind permission of Margaret A. Boden.