The EU-funded What-if Machine (WHIM) project not only generates fictional storylines, but also judges their potential usefulness and appeal. It represents a major advance in the field of computational creativity.
Science rarely looks at the whimsical, but that is changing as a result of the aptly named WHIM project. The ambitious project is building a software system able to invent and evaluate fictional ideas.
“WHIM is an antidote to mainstream artificial intelligence which is obsessed with reality,” says Simon Colton, project coordinator and professor in computational creativity at Goldsmiths College, University of London. “We’re among the first to apply artificial intelligence to fiction.”
World’s first fictional ideation machine
The project acronym stands for the What-If Machine and is also the name of the world’s first fictional ‘ideation’ (creative process of generating, developing, and communicating new ideas) software, developed within the project. The software generates fictional mini-narratives or storylines, using natural language processing techniques and a database of facts mined from the Web (as a repository of ‘true’ facts). The software then inverts or twists the facts to create ‘what-ifs’. The result is often incongruous, ‘What if there was a woman who woke up in an alley as a cat, but could still ride a bicycle?’
Can computers judge creativity?
WHIM is more than just an idea-generating machine. The software also seeks to assess the potential for use or quality of the ideas generated. Since the ideas generated are ultimately destined for human consumption, direct human input was asked for in crowdsourcing experiments. For example, WHIM researchers asked people whether they thought the ‘what-ifs’ were novel and had good narrative potential, and also asked them to leave general feedback. Through machine learning techniques, devised by researchers at the Jozef Stefan Institute in Ljubljana, the system gradually gains a more refined understanding of people’s preferences.
“One may argue that fiction is subjective, but there are patterns,” says Professor Colton. “If 99 percent of people think a comedian is funny, then we could say that comedian is funny, at least in the perception of most people.”
Just the beginning
Generating fictional mini-narratives is just one aspect of the project. Researchers at the Universidad Complutense Madrid are expanding the mini-narratives into full narratives that could be more suitable for the complete plot of a film, for example. Meanwhile, researchers at the University College in Dublin are trying to teach computers to produce metaphorical insights and ironies by inverting and contrasting stereotypes harvested from the Web, while researchers from the University of Cambridge are looking into Web mining for ideation purposes. All of this work should lead to better and more complete fictional ideas.
Read more: Can Computers be Creative?
The Latest on: Computational Creativity
via Google News
The Latest on: Computational Creativity
- Over Ten Years Of R&D In Imaging Leads Us To A New Era Of Computational Video With The OPPO Find X5 Pro And Marisilicon Xon August 5, 2022 at 8:15 pm
The most advanced camera system powered by MariSilicon X and two outstanding IMX766 flagship sensors as well as iconic Hasselblad Natural ...
- Creative Zen Hybrid Review: Possibly among the best headphones in the price rangeon August 5, 2022 at 1:30 pm
The first time I felt the charm of earphones came from Creative about 15 years ago … I was still in high school back then. Recently, I received a pair of new headphones from Creative and was offered ...
- Computational Creativity Market Outlook 2022: Big Things Are Happeningon August 3, 2022 at 10:31 am
Edison, NJ — (SBWIRE) — 08/03/2022 — The latest study released on the Global Computational Creativity Market by AMA Research evaluates market size, trend, and forecast to 2027. The ...
- Finally, an answer to the question: AI — what is it good for?on August 3, 2022 at 4:30 am
For AI proponents like Sam Altman, OpenAI’s CEO, these advances herald an era where “AI creative tools are going to be the biggest impact on creative work flows since the computer itself,” as he ...
- Jock Gill: The computational energy solution is within our reachon July 31, 2022 at 6:36 am
Computational energy is based on local renewable ... myth of no possibility of alternatives and open up the reality of creative alternatives. In spite of the challenges and barriers ...
- Creative Space Summer Camp kicks off on July 31on July 26, 2022 at 4:00 pm
The activities are geared towards teaching coding, electronics, and computational thinking, and foster creativity, innovation, problem-solving, and teamwork. For Web design, the focus will be on ...
- Researchers call on old telephones for tech sessionson July 19, 2022 at 11:39 pm
The vintage technology was used in combination with a creativity and computational concepts activity co-devised by Dr. Barnard and Professor Goutrié for the event, to help develop understanding of ...
- QCRI opens registration for Creative Space Summer Campon July 19, 2022 at 11:58 am
Students will get to develop their coding and computational thinking skills and inspire their creativity and innovation. By giving them a fun summer learning experience, we hope to give them a ...
- Teaching computational maker skills through gamingon July 15, 2022 at 7:52 am
Together with colleagues including MIT Professor Stefanie Mueller, Turakhia has since developed a new system to teach computational ... objects of creative self-expression, objects of resources ...
- Children compensate for lack of concentration through creativityon July 15, 2022 at 7:15 am
However, a study by the Max Planck Research Group "NeuroCode - Neural and Computational Basis of Learning ... less relevant information and using it to spontaneously find new and creative strategies ...
via Bing News