Slippage in Cognition, Perception, and Action: From Aesthetics to Artificial Intelligence

  • William W. YorkEmail author
  • Hamid R. Ekbia
Part of the Topics in Intelligent Engineering and Informatics book series (TIEI, volume 4)


A growing body of work has emerged in computer science and related fields around the topics of aesthetics and affect. Much of this work has focused on the issue of how to treat computational systems aesthetically rather than on the question of how to understand aesthetics computationally. Here we pursue the latter question, exploring it through the lens of analogy-making-a topic of longtime interest in AI. We take our lead from a particular group of AI models that have emphasized the interplay between analogy-making and aesthetic sensibility. Central to the thinking behind these models is the idea of conceptual slippage, the process whereby one concept can “slip” to, or be replaced by, a related one, given sufficient contextual pressure. Extending this notion to perception and action, we argue that slippage and “seeing as” are central to both the creation and perception of artworks and other objects of design. We illustrate these points by drawing on a range of examples, both from computer models and from the real world. These observations suggest that a closer link should be established in AI between research on aesthetics, embodied cognition and perception, and analogy-making.


Aesthetic Experience Aesthetic Judgment Target String Visual Metaphor Aesthetic Sensibility 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Center for Research on Concepts and CognitionIndiana UniversityBloomingtonUSA
  2. 2.School of Library and Information ScienceIndiana UniversityBloomingtonUSA

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