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Chatting with Computers

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Chatting with Computers

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Presented as a guest lecture for the University of Leeds' Centre for World Cinemas and Digital Cultures (7 December 2022). Historicises natural language generation before reviewing some examples of modern systems. Ends with a case study centred on a thanabot.

Presented as a guest lecture for the University of Leeds' Centre for World Cinemas and Digital Cultures (7 December 2022). Historicises natural language generation before reviewing some examples of modern systems. Ends with a case study centred on a thanabot.

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Chatting with Computers

  1. 1. Chatting with Computers Leah Henrickson School of Media and Communication L.R.Henrickson@leeds.ac.uk
  2. 2. artificial intelligence book history digital storytelling media studies + a dash of Canadian charm
  3. 3. Let's get the drier stuff out of the way. Now, an introduction to natural language generation (NLG).
  4. 4. NLG is considered a sub-field of NLP, which itself is a sub-field of AI. However, there is a longer pre-digital history to consider. Humans really seem to like mathematising language. NLG: Systematised production of output in everyday human languages.
  5. 5. https://slate.com/technology/2017/08/behold-the-amazing-poetry-generating-machine.html John Clark's Eureka machine (Egyptian Hall, London: 1845) Grammatically- and rhythmically-correct lines of dactylic hexameter in Latin (e.g. "martia castra foris prænarrant proelia multa" or "martial encampments foreshow many battles abroad") Six words that never varied in scansion or syntax (adjective-noun-adverb-verb- noun-adjective), for an estimated 26 million permutations Eureka!
  6. 6. Artificial Versifying
  7. 7. Joseph Weizenbaum, mid 1960s Often considered the first chatbot ELIZA > DOCTOR script (mock Rogerian psychotherapist) Weizenbaum becomes very critical of this technology and its capacity for deception (see Computer Power and Human Reason, 1976) ELIZA
  8. 8. William Chamberlain and Thomas Etter (RACTER) Illustrations by Joan Hall 'The First Book Ever Written by a Computer'? (1984) The Policeman's Beard is Half Constructed
  9. 9. 'Due to our concerns about malicious applications of the technology, we are not releasing the trained model. As an experiment in responsible disclosure, we are instead releasing a much smaller model for researchers to experiment with, as well as a technical paper.' - Radford et al., 2019 (https://openai.com/blog/better-language-models) Old News: OpenAI's GPTs AI Dungeon OpenAI Playground
  10. 10. 'We introduce a new large language model called Galactica (GAL) for automatically organizing science. [...] Language models will likely provide a valuable new tool for exploring the literature and the body of scientific knowledge in coming years.' - Taylor et al., 2022 (https://arxiv.org/abs/2211.09085) Breaking: Meta's Galactica
  11. 11. Project December From this to this, because of this.
  12. 12. Photos from 'The Jessica Simulation': https://www.sfchronicle.com/projects/2021/jessica-simulation-artificial-intelligence
  13. 13. Why are we engaging with these systems? Who or what are we talking to? How do these systems prompt changes in the ways in which we see the world? Other people? Ourselves? What now?
  14. 14. Leah Henrickson School of Media and Communication L.R.Henrickson@leeds.ac.uk Thank you!

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