narrative


The Story Universe of Magic: The Gathering Is Expanding

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Two years ago a novelist and as-yet-unproduced screenwriter named Nic Kelman went to work for Wizards of the Coast, the company that makes the popular collectible card game Magic: The Gathering. Kelman's job, though he might not put it this way, was to write a grimoire--a kabbalistic story bible. "Rules for magic out of the rules for Magic," as Kelman says. The company needed that grimoire because it was going to try to cast a spell in the real world--to transform a popular albeit niche game, complicated and nerdy, into a cross-media franchise. That has happened for comic books, for literature, even for toys, heaven help us.


How computers and humans can work together most effectively: the psychology

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In a reaction against the then dominant behaviourist perspective, psychologists once again began to speculate about, and research, processes going on within the person, rather than simply relying on observation of their external behaviour. This development in psychological thinking was strongly influenced by the simultaneously emerging fields of information and computer science. As a result, a dominant metaphor in cognitive science became the brain-as-computer. This analogy left little room for the role of emotion, except as a disturbance of optimal cognitive function, or, at best, as a signalling system to indicate the gap between goals and outcomes. Given this history, it is therefore unsurprising that many efforts to improve the quality of financial decision-making have focused on replacing human with machine intelligence.


Artificial Intelligence and Society: 'Technology is not destiny.'

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A central concern surrounding AI is how it might affect the labour market. In recent years, technology that relies on automation has become more advanced, and its application is increasing across a range of different business settings. Does it pose a threat to business and what are the wider implications for society? AI has wide-ranging implications and not just in the places you might first expect. However, it's not necessarily true that AI will destabilize whole areas of the work force as it pertains to certain kinds of workers in the economy.


Using Google's Speech Recognition And Natural Language APIs To Thematically Analyze Television

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Television news coverage is typically thought of as a visual medium, yet most of the narrative we consume from television comes in the form of spoken narration. Watching a news show with the audio muted and closed captioning off reinforces that the visual elements of television act more as enrichment than primary information conveyor. This means that quantifying this spoken narrative is imperative to understanding what television news is paying attention to and how it is framing and covering those events. Using Google's Cloud Speech-to-Text API to transcribe a week of television news coverage and annotating it with Google's Natural Language API, what might we learn about how television news covers the world? In the United States, most television stations provide closed captioning for their news programming, meaning they already come with a textual human-produced transcript.


Transmedia Storytelling Initiative launches with $1.1 million gift

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Driven by the rise of transformative digital technologies and the proliferation of data, human storytelling is rapidly evolving in ways that challenge and expand our very understanding of narrative. Transmedia -- where stories and data operate across multiple platforms and social transformations -- and its wide range of theoretical, philosophical, and creative perspectives, needs shared critique around making and understanding. MIT's School of Architecture and Planning (SA P), working closely with faculty in the MIT School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences (SHASS) and others across the Institute, has launched the Transmedia Storytelling Initiative under the direction of Professor Caroline Jones, an art historian, critic, and curator in the History, Theory, Criticism section of SA P's Department of Architecture. The initiative will build on MIT's bold tradition of art education, research, production, and innovation in media-based storytelling, from film through augmented reality. Supported by a foundational gift from David and Nina Fialkow, this initiative will create an influential hub for pedagogy and research in time-based media.


Don't Worry About Deepfakes. Worry About Why People Fall for Them.

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The use of AI to create high-resolution fake images and videos has raised concerns about the use of disinformation as a political tool. Over the past few years, the application of artificial intelligence to create faked images, audio, and video has sparked a great deal of concern among policymakers and researchers. A series of compelling demonstrations -- the use of AI to create believable synthetic voices, to imitate the facial movements of a president, to swap faces in faked porn -- illustrate the rapid speed at which the technology is advancing. Machine learning, the subfield of artificial intelligence that underlies much of the technology's modern progress, studies algorithms that improve through the processing of data. Machine learning systems acquire what is known in the field as a representation, a concept of the task to be solved, which can then be used to generate new iterations of the thing that has been learned.


Simple and Effective Curriculum Pointer-Generator Networks for Reading Comprehension over Long Narratives

arXiv.org Artificial Intelligence

This paper tackles the problem of reading comprehension over long narratives where documents easily span over thousands of tokens. We propose a curriculum learning (CL) based Pointer-Generator framework for reading/sampling over large documents, enabling diverse training of the neural model based on the notion of alternating contextual difficulty. This can be interpreted as a form of domain randomization and/or generative pretraining during training. To this end, the usage of the Pointer-Generator softens the requirement of having the answer within the context, enabling us to construct diverse training samples for learning. Additionally, we propose a new Introspective Alignment Layer (IAL), which reasons over decomposed alignments using block-based self-attention. We evaluate our proposed method on the NarrativeQA reading comprehension benchmark, achieving state-of-the-art performance, improving existing baselines by $51\%$ relative improvement on BLEU-4 and $17\%$ relative improvement on Rouge-L. Extensive ablations confirm the effectiveness of our proposed IAL and CL components.


A Walk Down Memory Lane with AI Accenture

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Today's tech-enabled marketplace has brought a fever pitch of innovation, creating ease in many ways, but also changing human interactions foundationally. We're more digitally connected than ever but opportunity for meaningful engagement sometimes appears to have been lost in the digital fray. As we settle into this new norm, aspiring innovators have the privileged responsibility of examining how change has impacted human lives around us and the opportunity to improve our day-to-day with technology instead of being ruled by it. A case study in potential for disconnect, Sweden has been recently deemed one of the loneliest cities on the planet, with an estimated 250,000 residents living alone. Swedish heating, cooling and energy company, Stockholm Exergi wanted to extend their commitment to "making Stockholm a warmer place" by influencing social good and inspiring positive change for its citizens.


Harness the Power of AI Automation to Optimize Storytelling

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Many agencies are still in the early stages of collecting data, and learning how to use it to drive value through AI automation. Yet, a 2018 study found 49% percent of those surveyed agreed artificial intelligence (AI) and automation will change the way we work. And 31% believed they'd already seen the benefits. But organizations are also dealing with the fear that AI and automation could cause job loss across many sectors. Technology advances will undoubtedly alter current roles, as well as create new ones.


Plotting Markson's 'Mistress'

arXiv.org Artificial Intelligence

The post-modern novel 'Wittgenstein's Mistress' by David Markson (1988) presents the reader with a very challenging non linear narrative, that itself appears to one of the novel's themes. We present a distant reading of this work designed to complement a close reading of it by David Foster Wallace (1990). Using a combination of text analysis, entity recognition and networks, we plot repetitive structures in the novel's narrative relating them to its critical analysis.