i7.110102 Natural and Computational Narratologies


Type Language Semester Credits Hours Room Time Term Year
S e 2 4 2 Do 14-16 W 2017
BSc: optional compulsory (Wahlpflichtbereich)
BSc examination field: Artificial Intelligence (KOGW-WPM-KI)
MSc: Major subject
MSc major: Artificial Intelligence


Prerequisites: None

Narratology is the study of the structure of stories: their nature, form and functioning. Under the label äpost-classical narratologiesö several different schools of thought have developed, which propose differing frameworks and use differing perspectives. While these approaches take a purely descriptive stance, recent computational methods also attempt to formalize generative models of narrative. This field, called "computational storytelling", employs literary, psychological and engineering theories to enable the automated, computational creation of stories.
The course aims at providing the students with an overview of different approaches to theoretically describing and computationally generating stories. It will also highlight how the two perspectives have influenced each other and discuss the challenges that result from this interdisciplinary collaboration. From the literary perspective the course will address structuralist, cognitive and possible-worlds descriptions of discourse, plot and character; with a focus on the possible worlds school. From the computational perspective, several canonical storytelling systems will be presented.
The students will be required to hand in a term paper and either make a short presentation of one chapter from the book "Possible Worlds, Artificial Intelligence and Narrative Theory" by Ryan (1991) or develop a prototypical storytelling system in a small group. Approximately 50% of the course will consist of lecture-type presentations by the lecturer.
The course will be offered at the Institute for English and American Studies and is directed at both, students of Cognitive Science and Literary Studies.

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