Volume 8 [Issue 2], 2016


“I don’t conversate with those I don’t know”: The role of trust/distrust in online engagement

Martha J. Hoff


Digital spaces are populated by youth who navigate, consume, create, and distribute information through their participation as designers, contributors, respondents, and distributors. A key prerequisite to collaboration, participation and distributed knowledge is trust. The literature informs us that the creation of trust involves several variables: the individual, their experiences, familiarity, and the environment (online, offline, context). Little is known about how low SES youth navigate within and across on- and offline spaces. This paper draws on sociological theories of generalized trust to examine the impact that trust/distrust had on the digital space engagement of six, low income, urban youth, 16-18 years of age, who self-identified as active users of mobile technology. Participants were observed, interviewed, kept journals, and had remote monitoring software installed on their devices. The importance of trust as a precursor to active engagement in online spaces was evident across the data set. This paper argues that trust as a continuum (high-low) develops in relation to one’s experiences and varies with context/environment. Secondly I suggest that distrust is a separate and distinct construct from trust. These bifurcations of trust have different implications for the engagement and collaborative practices in both on- and offline spaces.


Creative stories: Modelling the principal components of human creativity over texts in a storytelling game

Antonis Koukourikos, Pythagoras Karampiperis & Vangelis Karkaletsis


The process of effectively applying techniques for fostering creativity in educational settings is – by nature – multifaceted and not straightforward, as it pertains to several fields such as cognitive theory and psychology. Furthermore, the quantification of the impact of different activities on creativity is a challenging and not yet thoroughly investigated task. In this paper, we present the process of applying the Semantic Lateral Thinking technique for fostering creativity in Creative Stories, a digital storytelling game, via the introduction of the appropriate stimuli in the game’s flow. Furthermore, we present a formalization for a person’s creativity as a derivative of his/her creations within the game, by transitioning from traditional computational creativity metrics over the produced stories to a space that adheres to the core principles of creativity as perceived by humans.

Socratic dialogue as a teaching and research method for co-creativity?

Keith Stenning, Alexander Schmoelz, Heather Wren, Elias Stouraitis, Theodore Scaltsas, Konstantine Alexopoulos & Amelie Aichhorn


We sketch a theory of creativity which centres on the framing of activity by repetitive thinking and action, and sees creativity as divergences from these routines which is thereby framed against them. Without a repetitive frame creativity is impossible. Mere repetition is not creative, even if new. Creativity disrupts a frame, purposefully. Socratic Dialogue is an ancient technique of engaging a student in a dialogue by asking non-leading questions, aimed at revealing to the student how much knowledge he or she already has on some topic: Socrates' demonstration to the slave-boy (and the audience) that the boy already knows geometry (without any schooling) is the founding example. We aim to illustrate that internalising the Socratic kind of reflective self-questioning and co-questioning is intimately related to the view of creativity as the reframing of routine. Therefore, we have qualitatively analysed primary and secondary school pilots in Greece, Austria and the United Kingdom. The illustrations of facilitated Socratic Dialogues with children and young people have been derived from the analysis of 14 Socratic Dialogues involving a total number of 97 students. This paper outlines the Socratic Dialogue as a method of both researching and teaching creative thinking, and it reveals that the Socratic method dovetails with this conception of co-creativity. As a research method, Socratic Dialogue aims to elicit information concerning reasoning processes and shared experiences. As a teaching method, Socratic Dialogue aims to get students to internalise the public methodology of Socratic Dialogue, and to adopt it across the range of domains they meet. The students’ use of the internalised method towards enabling creative thinking is illustrated by the experiences of the teaching intervention teams in the C2Learn project, using games to provide occasions for co-creativity.


Brainmining emotive lateral solutions

Theodore Scaltsas


BrainMining is a theory of creative thinking that shows how we should exploit the mind’s spontaneous natural disposition to use old solutions to address new problems – our Anchoring Cognitive Bias. BrainMining develops a simple and straightforward method to transform recalcitrant problems into types of problems which we have solved before, and then apply an old type of solution to them. The transformation makes the thinking lateral by matching up disparate types of problem and solution. It emphasises the role of emotive judgements that the agent makes, when she discerns whether a change of the values or the emotions and feelings in a situation, which would expand the space of solutions available for the problem at hand, would be acceptable or appropriate in the situation. A lateral solution for an intractable problem is thus spontaneously brainmined from the agent’s old solutions, to solve a transformed version of the intractable problem, possibly involving changes in the value system or the emotional profile of the situation, which the agent judges, emotively, will be acceptable, and even appropriate in the circumstances.

Can Computers Foster Human Users’ Creativity? Theory and Praxis of Mixed-Initiative Co-Creativity

Antonios Liapis, Georgios N. Yannakakis, Constantine Alexopoulos & Phil Lopes


This article discusses the impact of artificially intelligent computers to the process of design, play and educational activities. A computational process which has the necessary intelligence and creativity to take a proactive role in such activities can not only support human creativity but also foster it and prompt lateral thinking. The argument is made both from the perspective of human creativity, where the computational input is treated as an external stimulus which triggers re-framing of humans’ routines and mental associations, but also from the perspective of computational creativity where human input and initiative constrains the search space of the algorithm, enabling it to focus on specific possible solutions to a problem rather than globally search for the optimal. The article reviews four mixed-initiative tools (for design and educational play) based on how they contribute to human-machine co-creativity. These paradigms serve different purposes, afford different human interaction methods and incorporate different computationally creative processes. Assessing how co-creativity is facilitated on a per-paradigm basis strengthens the theoretical argument and provides an initial seed for future work in the burgeoning domain of mixed-initiative interaction.