Flow Machines
An ERC project on creativity and reflexive interaction
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This ambitious 5-years ERC project, beginning in August 2012, addresses the issue of enhancing individual creativity by looking at it through the concept of "reflexive interactions". Reflexive Interactions are man-machine interactions with a system that attempts to imitate the user's style. The vision behind Flow Machines is that manipulating images of oneself creates novel and very effective ways to boost creativity. This was demonstrated in particular with the Continuator system, and with interactions with jazz professionals, as well as children (see also the ongoing Miror project). The Flow Machines project will push these ideas further by proposing a radically new way of looking at content creation tools.

Opportunites in the Flow Machine Project

For this project, we seek to create a cohesive team of talented individuals with competences in:

Combinatorial optimization, in particular global constraints. One key aspect of the project is to be able to produce flexible representation of "styles" for temporal sequences (music, text). Notably, we want to pursue the works initiated in "Markov constraints" in various directions. This work involves a good knowledge (or willingness to acquire competences) in graph theory, global constraints, possibly operation research.

Statistical learning: Style is most often represented as a statistical object (e.g. a Markov process). We want to produce representation that are reused for the generation of finite-length material, satisfying arbitrary user constraints. One key aspect of our project is to bridge the gap between statistical models and combinatorial optimization. We look for people having a good knowledge of statistical learning methods, and who want to extend and apply them to content creation.

Extreme programming: The project will include the development of 2 pilot applications: one for music composition (following the work performed in MIROR) and another for text generation. These 2 applications will share the same basic features (malleable style representation). We seek talented programmers who are excited by the perspective of putting together software libraries of very varied nature (CSPs, machine-learning, music and text) and who want to design and implement new generation of content creation systems. These prototypes have to work in real world contexts as they will be used by real artists (composers and writers).

Positions will include software developers, PhDs (typically registered in the LIP6 laboratory in Paris 6 - UPMC university) and postdocs. Actual positions are flexible and will depend on the individual curriculum and expertises. The most important goal is to create a team of really motivated and talented individuals, willing to revolutionize the field of content creation. This team will include researchers from Sony CSL (Pierre Roy) and LIP6-Paris 6 university and will be located mostly in Sony CSL-Paris. Please send resume, letters, etc. to Francois Pachet (pachet@csl.sony.fr).

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