Christian Guckelsberger

PhD Student, Goldsmiths


Christian studied Computer Science, History of Art and Business in Germany and the UK and is now based in London, working towards a PhD in Artificial Intelligence. His work challenges the question how computers could ever become genuinely creative with a highly interdisciplinary approach based on Computing, Cognitive Science and Philosophy. Over the last few years, he published papers on a wide range of topics, held a tutorial on intrinsic motivation in video games, and organised a workshop on computational serendipity. Having worked in the R&D department of SAP SE for three years, Christian has substantial industrial experience. He enjoys working in an international environment with open-minded, passionate people.


Intrinsic Motivation in Computational Creativity with Applications to Games

This research investigates how we can engineer artificial systems that are creative in their own right. Christian addresses this challenge with computational models of intrinsic motivation (IM). Intrinsically motivated agents perform an activity for its inherent satisfaction rather than for some instrumental outcome. A classic example is to act in order to satisfy one’s curiosity. In both theoretic and in applied studies, he demonstrates that models of IM can give rise to general, robust and adaptive creative systems. Video games make an ideal application domain for this work, as they represent arbitrarily complex, reliable abstractions of the real world, and a challenging, multi-faceted domain for designers.

Christian has shown how models of IM can be used to create highly general non-player characters. Such characters can potentially be used in any game without previous knowledge of the game mechanics, reducing costs and effort in game development while increasing the AI’s robustness.

At this year’s symposium, he showcases recent research on predicting players’ experience of video game content without involving any human actor. Amongst other applications, it represents a first step towards unleashing the full creative and cost-saving potential of procedural content generation in games.

Christian’s ongoing research stretches beyond video games, investigating the role of computational models of IM for intentionality, open-ended development and consciousness in artificial systems.


  • Computational Creativity, General AI, Human-Computer-Interaction, Cognitive Science, Philosophy
  • Formal models of intrinsic motivation, probability and information theory, Bayesian inference, data analysis & statistics
  • C++, Java, Python, C#, R, Matlab
  • Agile developer & trained scrum master


Home Institution: Goldsmiths, University of London
Supervisors: Simon Colton (Falmouth / Goldsmiths), Jeremy Gow (Goldsmiths), Paul Cairns (York), Christoph Salge (NYU / Hertfordshire)
Email: c.guckelsberger@gold.ac.uk
Twitter: @CreativeEndvs
LinkedIn: linkedin.com/in/christianguckelsberger
Web: ccg.doc.gold.ac.uk/christianguckelsberger

My Sessions

Predicting Player Experience without the Player

Spring Lane Building Lecture Theatre, SLB/118

How to procedurally generate content for a desired player experience with AI