Computational Linguistic Creativity - CLiC

CLiC is a research project funded by the Academy of Finland, carried out in the Discovery Research Group in collaboration with researchers from the Faculty of Behavioral Sciences


We investigate 'computational linguistic creativity', i.e., the ability of computers to act in verbally creative ways. Such creative skills will give computers more flexibility in their verbal communication with users. Software with creative skills can also be used to build tools that help people use language in novel and creative ways. In this project, we will carry out basic research to develop novel data mining inspired methods for computational linguistic creativity, especially for supporting human creativity. We will also consider novel ways of applying the results: we investigate use of these methods as pedagogical tools in primary and secondary schools.

The project involves a strong multi-disciplinary team combining expertise in computer science, data mining and computational creativity with pedagogy and use of digital technology in education. The project will produce novel computational concepts, algorithms, and tools for linguistic creativity, as well as an application in grammar school language teaching and pedagogical insight into use of computational creativity tools to support learning.

Objectives of the CLiC project

The project is structured by its four sub-objectives:

  1. Develop novel methods for the analysis of language use. The idea is to tap into the huge existing linguistic resources (especially corpora, e.g., the web) to mine for tendencies, associations, and patterns in language use.
  2. Develop novel methods to compose new concepts and linguistic expressions, and to implicitly express attitudes, emotions, and feelings. Here the goal is to provide a linguistically creative toolbox that can help create, e.g., new metaphors with desired attitudes.
  3. Develop novel methods and tools for supporting linguistic creativity of users. The aim is to support different tasks in linguistic creativity, byhelping users find (creative) ways to express their message/feeling/opinion.
  4. Develop and test the pedagogical use of computationally creative tools in primary and secondary schools.

People and Partners

Researchers in the project:

The project is carried out by the Discovery Group at the Department of Computer Science, University of Helsinki. Pedagogical research is done in collaboration with Technology in Education Research Group at the Faculty of Behavioral Sciences, University of Helsinki. The project is funded by the Academy of Finland for the period of 1.9.2014-31.8.2018.

CLiC suomeksi [in Finnish]

Projektissa tutkitaan laskennallista kielellistä luovuutta eli sitä, miten tietokoneista voidaan tehdä luovia kielen käyttäjiä. Verbaalisesti luovat tietokoneet voisivat esimerkiksi kommunikoida käyttäjän kanssa monipuolisemmin ja luonnollisemmin. Tietokoneen luovia kykyjä voidaan käyttää myös käyttäjän kielellisen luovuuden tukemiseen tai harjoittamiseen. Kehitämme projektissa uusia kielellisen luovuuden menetelmiä, jotka perustuvat tekstien louhintaan. Kehitämme erityisesti menetelmiä kielellisen luovuuden tukemiseen. Lisäksi tutkimme näiden menetelmien käyttöä opetuksen apuvälineinä kouluissa. Projektissa yhdistetään tietojenkäsittelytiedettä, erityisesti tiedon louhintaa ja laskennallista luovuutta pedagogiaan ja opetusteknologiaan.


Contact: Prof. Hannu Toivonen, email