Georgia Institute of Technology’s School of Interactive Computing, through a grant provided by the National Science Foundation, studied how digital content creation tools can be improved to help people be more effective. Mark Riedl, associate professor in the School of Interactive Computing and director of the Entertainment Intelligence Lab, explains how this research drives economic development and innovation.
Our research model included a form of computer animation called machinima, which heavily contributes to filmmaking today. Filmmaking is a $5.1 billion industry in Georgia that is heavily supported as an economic development priority. Media and Entertainment is a $546 billion industry in the U.S. – the largest in the world.
We developed a new theoretical model of creativity that factors in how creators use their tools in the genesis of new ideas and to constrain the creative process toward the most viable solutions. Today, digital media creation rarely occurs in the absence of software tools. In contrast, the study of creativity has historically looked at problem solving without tools.
We explored new “smart” features for software media creation tools that give feedback and critique as you create – like a Spell Check on steroids for cinema and digital video. As a result, we now have a better understanding of what a novice needs in order to be more effective when making content for instruction, information or entertainment.
Our research can be applied to many different industries:
- To improve corporate training in the workplace, tutoring modules inside a multimedia homework assignment, or the completeness and comprehension of a new, online college course.
- All of these use multimedia-rich content where comprehension by the audience is essential.
This research also looked at how we can help machines understand human emotions. As we automate more of our economy, it will be important for computers and robots to understand how their actions affect us – not just physically, but emotionally.
Creativity research such as that funded by the NSF helps ensure that the U.S. remains the driving force of the knowledge-based economy at a time when other nations are catching up in technology and education and increasing their investment in research and development.
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