Christian Guckelsberger

Christian Guckelsberger

I'm a Computer Scientist, Art Historian and Assistant Professor in Creative Technologies at Aalto University, where I lead the Autotelic Interaction Research (AIR) group. My goal is to engineer artificial systems that are creative in their own right and in interaction with people. Moreover, I am interested in how creative AI is perceived by its users and the general public, and how we can support its sustainable adoption in the workplace and in society. I conduct interdisciplinary, theoretical work as well as applied qualitative and quantitative research in various creative domains such as videogames, fine art and design, bridging between AI, HCI, Psychology, Philosophy & Creative Practice.

Inspired by its central role in human and animal creativity, I advocate intrinsic motivation as a key to unleashing creativity in artificial systems. I contribute to the comparison of existing and the development of new, psychologically plausible models of computational intrinsic motivation with a focus on multi-agent interaction, and I apply my findings to shape the next generation of transformative videogame AI. I promote games as a domain for computational creativity research because they allow us to study and foster both, human and AI creativity, in play and in game design, across different types of content, with societal, cultural and economic impact.

The list below is a selection of recent publications. You can find the complete list on Google Scholar and my academic CV here. Also, here's a recorded talk on our study of professional creative's perception, adoption and use of creative AI.

You can contact me via email, @CreativeEndvs on Twitter & Mastodon.

I'm always interested in meeting curious, smart and ambitious people to work with. If you would like to do a Research Visit/Postdoc/PhD or your MSc thesis with me, please check out the application instructions on our group's website. Unfortunately, I do not have time to respond to requests that do not follow these instructions. 

Full researcher profile
Postal address
Konemiehentie 2 02150 Espoo Finland

Areas of expertise

Computational Creativity, Artificial Intelligence, Human-Computer Interaction, Intrinsic Motivation, Videogames, Design

Honors and awards

Honorable Mention (CHI PLAY 2023)

Awarded for V. Vimpari, A. Kultima, P. Hämäläinen and C. Guckelsberger: "An Adapt-or-Die Type of Situation": Perception, Adoption, and Use of Text-To-Image-Generation AI by Game Industry Professionals. In: Proceedings of the ACM on Human-Computer Interaction 7, CHI PLAY, p. 131–164, 379.
Award or honor granted for a specific work Department of Computer Science Jan 2023

Finalist in “AI Game Dev” Competition

Europe’s first research-driven competition to enhance game technology. Entered with our work published in S. Roohi, C. Guckelsberger, A. Relas, H. Heiskanen, J. Takatalo, and P. Hämäläinen. Predicting Game Engagement and Difficulty Using AI Players. Proc. of the ACM on Human-Computer Interaction, 5(CHI Play):1–18, 2021.
Invitation or ranking in competition Department of Computer Science Dec 2021

Best Paper Award (International Conference on Computational Creativity)

Awarded for S. Colton, A. Pease, C. Guckelsberger, J. McCormack, and M. T. Llano. On the Machine Condition and its Creative Expression. In Proc. Int. Conference on Computational Creativity (ICCC), pages 342–349, 2020.
Award or honor granted for a specific work Department of Computer Science Sep 2020

Best Paper Award (IEEE Conference on Computational Intelligence and Games)

Awarded for C. Guckelsberger, C. Salge, and J. Togelius. New And Surprising Ways to be Mean: Adversarial NPCs with Coupled Empowerment Minimisation. In Proc. Conference on Computational Intelligence and Games (CIG), pages 1–8. IEEE, 2018.
Award or honor granted for a specific work Department of Computer Science Aug 2018

Finalist in “Creative Computing for the Digital Economy” Competition

A category in the UK-wide “Connected Nations Pioneers” competition, hosted by the EPSRC to recognise exceptional postgraduate research contributions. Awarded for my work on intrinsically motivated NPCs for next-generation game AI.
Invitation or ranking in competition Department of Computer Science Oct 2018

Best Paper Honourable Mention (CHI Play)

Awarded for C. Guckelsberger, C. Salge, J. Gow, and P. A. Cairns. Predicting Player Experience Without the Player. An Exploratory Study. In Proc. SIGCHI Annual Symposium on Computer-Human Interaction in Play (CHI Play), pages 305–315. ACM, 2017. Honourable mentions are given to the top 5 papers in the competition.
Award or honor granted for a specific work Department of Computer Science Oct 2017


Not All the Same: Understanding and Informing Similarity Estimation in Tile-Based Video Games

Sebastian Berns, Vanessa Volz, Laurissa Tokarchuk, Sam Snodgrass, Christian Guckelsberger 2024 CHI '24: Proceedings of the 2024 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems

Creativity and Markov Decision Processes

Joonas Lahikainen, Nadia M. Ady, Christian Guckelsberger 2024 Proceedings of the 15th International Conference on Computational Creativity (ICCC 2024)

Advancing Self-Determination Theory With Computational Intrinsic Motivation: The Case of Competence

Erik Matias Lintunen, Nadia M. Ady, Christian Guckelsberger, Sebastian Deterding 2024

On Creativity and Open-Endedness

Lisa B Soros, Alyssa M Adams, Stefano Kalonaris, Olaf Witkowski, Christian Guckelsberger 2024 ALIFE 2024: The 2024 Conference on Artificial Life

Creative collaboration with interactive evolutionary algorithms: a reflective exploratory design study

Severi Uusitalo, Anna Kantosalo, Antti Salovaara, Tapio Takala, Christian Guckelsberger 2024

Towards Mode Balancing of Generative Models via Diversity Weights

Sebastian Berns, Simon Colton, Christian Guckelsberger 2023 Proceedings of the 14th International Conference on Computational Creativity (ICCC 2023)

Designing for Playfulness in Human-AI Authoring Tools

Antonios Liapis, Christian Guckelsberger, Jichen Zhu, Casper Harteveld, Simone Kriglstein, Alena Denisova, Jeremy Gow, Mike Preuss 2023 Proceedings of the 18th International Conference on the Foundations of Digital Games, FDG 2023

Computationally Modelling Self-Determination Theory for HCI: The Case of Competence

Erik Lintunen, Christian Guckelsberger, Sebastian Deterding 2023

Image-based and machine learning-guided multiplexed serology test for SARS-CoV-2

Vilja Pietiäinen, Minttu Polso, Ede Migh, Christian Guckelsberger, Maria Harmati, Akos Diosdi, Laura Turunen, Antti Hassinen, Swapnil Potdar, Annika Koponen, Edina Gyukity Sebestyen, Ferenc Kovacs, Andras Kriston, Reka Hollandi, Katalin Burian, Gabriella Terhes, Adam Visnyovszki, Eszter Fodor, Zsombor Lacza, Anu Kantele, Pekka Kolehmainen, Laura Kakkola, Tomas Strandin, Lev Levanov, Olli Kallioniemi, Lajos Kemeny, Ilkka Julkunen, Olli Vapalahti, Krisztina Buzas, Lassi Paavolainen, Peter Horvath, Jussi Hepojoki 2023

"An Adapt-or-Die Type of Situation”: Perception, Adoption, and Use of Text-To-Image-Generation AI by Game Industry Professionals

Veera Vimpari, Annakaisa Kultima, Perttu Hämäläinen, Christian Guckelsberger 2023