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The Writer's Studio: Creating Stories for AI with Elizabeth Arredondo

February 25, 2019 - 6:00pm to 7:30pm
Hume Center for Writing and Speaking, bldg. 250, room 201
Elizabeth Arredondo

All workshops are free, open to the entire Stanford community, and held from 6 pm to 7:30 pm in the Hume Center for Writing and Speaking, Building 250, Room 201. Snacks are provided!

The Writer’s Studio is a free workshop series open to all students from all majors. Come study the art of writing in intensive, fun, hands-on workshops with dynamic faculty from the Creative Writing program, the Stanford Storytelling Project, and others. You’ll leave with an expanded understanding of what your writing can do.

Creating Stories for AI

The recent explosion in artificial intelligence (AI) has led to a demand for writers who can write for AI entities. As the Washington Post recently put it, “[b]ehind Apple’s Siri, Amazon’s Alexa and Microsoft’s Cortana are not just software engineers. Increasingly, there are poets, comedians, fiction writers, and other artistic types charged with engineering the personalities for a fast-growing crop of artificial intelligence tools.” This workshop will use character development and user experience design to give students an overview of creating a personality and backstory for an AI entity. The workshop will explore how to think about creating characters that interact and speak with users and how this is different from creating characters for the screen or page. Using character development prompts, students will explore backstory, utility and conversation style to conceive an AI personality. We’ll explore user research techniques, such as Wizard of Oz testing, and how they can be helpful in thinking about relationships with human users. By the end, students will have a better understanding of the opportunities and challenges of writing for an interactive relationship.Screen reader support enabled.  

Elizabeth Arredondo is among the small but growing group of writers working at the intersection of creative writing and artificial intelligence. She spent the past three years designing the personality, backstory, and conversations for a robotic wellness coach named Mabu at Catalia Health. After earning her MFA in Writing for Screen and TV from USC’s School for Cinematic Arts in 2005, Elizabeth participated in NBC’s “Writers on the Verge” program. She went on to work as a staff writer on the primetime CBS drama COLD CASE and develop several original TV pilots. Elizabeth is currently a Visiting Scholar at mediaX at Stanford where her work focuses on the study of AI personality design. During the 2018 winter quarter, she designed and moderated the seminar series Creating AI Conversations.Screen reader support enabled.   

Event Sponsor: 
Hume Center for Writing and Speaking, Stanford Storytelling Project , Creative Writing Program
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