Author Archive

Build a Story Aesthetic Model

Posted in Uncategorized on May 8, 2010 by Anupam Guha

I have uploaded the paper and poster of our project done by Stephanie, Shantanu and me at


The paper presents the idea that a story aesthetic model can be built using factors in a story a reader might consider important. The authors investigate earlier work done on story Understanding and draw a list of factors which influence the understanding of a story as well as its quality. The authors design an interview based on these factors and survey 18 people, and discover common trends in how these factors are perceived, and thus posit the idea that these factors can be used to build a quantifiable aesthetic model for stories.

Project Proposal: Creativity and Narratives

Posted in 07.Fixation and Incubation on February 24, 2010 by Anupam Guha

As I am interested in storytelling AI systems, I would like to investigate various creativity inspired methodologies which can be used to artificially generate narratives. I am looking to write a paper, and do a literature study. Since I already have background in the AI related aspects of the problem, I do not intend this to be a programming exercise, rather I want to attack with the question ‘What goes on in the human mind when generating narratives?’

I would like partner(s), anyone who is interested in storytelling, and who feels that stories are an important aspect of human intelligence, and someone who looks at creativity as something which deserves to be scientifically studied and quantified. I am really keen on stories and would appreciate assistance of people who read books as if their life depended on them.

Ideas as to what we could investigate:

1. suspense generation in stories

2. Stories and imagery

3. Audience subconscious interactions

4. interactive stories

5. phantasmal effects of stories

6. planning problems

7. effects of subplots


Readings- Thoughts and Arguments

Posted in 05.Creativity and Design on February 10, 2010 by Anupam Guha

For: “Environments for Creativity – A Lab for Making things”

As a computer scientist, I can appreciate the importance of interdisciplinary thinking, especially for problems which are inherently ambiguous. Also, it helps to be assisted by persons who aren’t trained to think in what is called ‘the scientific method’, for at times inspiration yields to further development. The Leonardo model quite aptly suggests the fact that generalism is necessary for fostering creativity.

Against: “Design Protocol Data and Novel Design Decisions”

The paper attempts to give a scientific model for novel design decisions. However, given the lack of falsifiability of the author’s hypothesis, compounded with the fact that causality is difficult to prove in his model, makes the argument of the paper a little premature. In my opinion the paper is a bit too simplistic, and from a cognitive angle, the hypothesis of the author requires a finer level of granularity.

Questions: “The Creators’ Patterns”

Question 1: Is it always the ‘architect’ (metaphorically speaking) who is a creator, and never the ‘scientist’?

Question 2: Are all ‘creative’ individuals such as Gardner describes? Tesla was as creative as Edison, yet in nature was a taciturn, morose, uncharismatic, definitely not childlike, generally misanthropic but a thoroughly heroic person, thus opposite to Edison in every respect.

My opinion: I think the psychology aspect of creativity is overrated. Creativity is a subjective definition. And being good at something doesn’t require one to be creative.

Of Trees, Fish and oddments

Posted in Uncategorized on February 3, 2010 by Anupam Guha

Well, I guess we started with the treeRoyality from the Plant Kingdom..

Isn’t the tree awesome 😉

Our goal was a suitable reading atmosphere, originally that is

A ‘bookcase’

This is supposed to be a bird

A bunch of wall hangings, fishes for some curious reason.


Finally, what the room is supposed to look like

Will the ‘real artists’ stand up?

Posted in Uncategorized on January 21, 2010 by Anupam Guha

The AARON paper prompts a few hard questions. First of all, purely from a cognitive science point of view, can Art be defined, or better, quantified? Can the constraints it involves be used with a measurable rubric?

In my opinion, it is not the representations being formed which are ‘art’ but rather it seems that human agents are willing to term a lot of things art according to what they think they perceive. Caution needs to be employed while terming any computer agent as ‘AI’ which may at best be pseudo randomly deciding to draw a bunch of representations. Art running haywire can hardly be termed ‘intelligent’, and popular folly and groupthink needs to be taken into account while critiquing such developments.

An early natural language analogue would be ELIZA of ill repute! (it was disturbing as to how many people called this AI) An example of an entire school of ‘Art’ being a result of half-baked fads would be ‘Disumbrationism‘ which was a deliberate satirical hoax to expose how easily almost anything can be passed off as Art. This becomes easier with the modernist art movements like Cubism which stretch the boundaries of abstraction, thus blurring the answer to the question ‘what is Art?’.

Is AARON an AI? For me, the jury is out till I get a more detailed account of the system architecture. But the claims of both AI and Art (especially together) need the sternest of tests. Does AARON do Art? I for one, do not wish to form an opinion about something whose context is so ill-defined.