As a continuation of the Asibot project, I gave a presentation to the internet of things conference in Rotterdam. With Enrique Manjavacas, I then gave a more technical and hands-on workshop for bachelors and masters students, where we explained in detail how asibot worked, as well as discussing the conceptual challenges in language generation.


Presentation : Synthetic Literature - Writing Science Fiction in a Co-Creative Process - Ben Burtenshaw (The University of Antwerp)

Synthetic literature refers to stories written with and by machines. The lecture outlines a natural language generation project named Asibot, that allowed members of the public to collaborate in the writing of a science fiction story with a neural network based text generator. Crucially, the system set up a collaborative environment, through which users were able to creatively write. The lecture will focus on the ramifications of this creative process, and go in to detail on how one evaluates and analyses it. It would be interesting for those working with natural language generation or processing, as well those who are interested in recent developments in the fields of computational creativity and story generation.

Workshop Asibot, Under the Hood - Ben Burtenshaw & Enrique Manjavacas (The University of Antwerp)

In this workshop, Ben Burtenshaw will follow up on his plenary lecture, and show participants how the Asibot system works on a more practical level. You will get the opportunity to interact with the Asibot system, a neural network based text generator that wrote a science fiction story in collaboration with Dutch writer Ronald Giphart. Since the project’s public completion, researchers at the The University of Antwerp and The Meertens Institute have been analysing how Asibot was used. The workshop will delve into these findings, and explain how these methodologies can be reused in participants’ own projects.