September 3, 2015

Georgia Tech Uses Artificial Intelligence to Crowdsource Interactive Fiction

A new Georgia Tech artificial intelligence system develops interactive stories through
crowdsourced data for more robust fiction. Here, the AI replicates a typical first date
to the movies (user choices are in red), complete with loud theater talkers and
the arm-over-shoulder movie move.

(September 3, 2015)  Georgia Institute of Technology researchers have developed a new artificially intelligent system that crowdsources plots for interactive stories, which are popular in video games and let players choose different branching story options.

With potentially limitless crowdsourced plot points, the system could allow for more creative stories and an easier method for interactive narrative generation. Current AI models for games have a limited number of scenarios, no matter what a player chooses. They depend on a dataset already programmed into a model by experts.

Using the Georgia Tech approach, one might imagine a Star Wars game using online fan fiction to let the AI system generate countless paths for a player to take.

“Our open interactive narrative system learns genre models from crowdsourced example stories so that the player can perform different actions and still receive a coherent story experience,” says Mark Riedl, lead investigator and associate professor of interactive computing at Georgia Tech.

A test of the AI system, called Scheherazade IF (Interactive Fiction) -- a reference to the fabled Arabic queen and storyteller – showed that it can achieve near human-level authoring.

“When enough data is available and that data sufficiently covers all aspects of the game experience, the system was able to meet or come close to meeting human performance in creating a playable story,” says Riedl.

The researchers evaluated the AI system by measuring the number of “commonsense” errors (e.g. scenes out of sequence) found by players, as well as players’ subjective experiences for things such as enjoyment and coherence of story. 

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