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Nov 2014 - Tales by your Computer: Towards a Storytelling Machine

We are drowning in data. Information is now routinely collected in domains as diverse as social media, weather reporting, and medical care, to name but a few.

Human beings usually communicate information using language. The sheer volume of data available makes it quite difficult for humans to process but telling stories makes this data easier to process through the use of narratives. Much of the time, communication takes the form of narrative. Our narrative capacity allows us to identify relevant information, link it, and present it coherently for our readers or listeners.

In this talk, Dr Albert Gatt will describe how Natural Language Generation systems work, focussing on a number of case studies, in which such systems have been successfully used to produce “narratives” from everyday information. However, we still need a more profound understanding of the human narrative capacity to make such systems better. As research progresses, there is an increasing synergy between computing science, literary studies, and psychology, all of which are helping us to gain a better understanding of our capacity to process information and tell stories.

Dr Albert Gatt is a senior lecturer in the Institute of Linguistics at the University of Malta and is a Research Fellow at Tilburg University and an Honorary Research Fellow at the University of Aberdeen in Scotland.

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