Play the Knave

Play the Knave is a new type of theater where the players control figures displayed on the screen by bodily movements and voice. This kind of theater created in the realm of virtual reality with an immersive video game is developed by the University of California Davis. The first impression is amazing! I would really love to experience it personally!


70 years of AI

iWonder – the section of BBC – published 15 key moments in a history of artificial intelligence from 1943 until 2014. The history covers the following breakthroughs, such as the first mobile, autonomous robot (1943), Turing Test (1950), Three Laws of Robotics designated by science fiction writer Isaac Asimov (1950), the introduction of the term ‘artificial intelligence’ (1956), the establishment of the Artificial Intelligence Laboratory at Massachusetts Institute of Technology founded by Marvin Minsky (1963), Shakey the Robot, the first general-purpose mobile robot able to make decisions about its own actions by reasoning about its surroundings (1969), “Elephants Don’t Play Chess”, important paper published by AI scientist Rodney Brooks (1990),  iRobot, the first commercially successful robot for the home – an autonomous vacuum cleaner called Roomba (2002), autonomous robots BigDog, made by Boston Dynamics (2005), a Google app with speech recognition, appeared on the new Apple iPhone (2008), the participation of machine IBM’s Watson in US quiz show Jeopardy (2011), and much more.

After 2014, we can indicate the next crucial moments in the history of AI, such as self-driving car Tesla, and Nao robots that passed a classic self-awareness test for the first time in 2015.

“A Literary History of Word Processing”

Track Changes: A Literary History of Word Processing by Matthew G. Kirschenbaum is finally released! Along with it, it is published its first review written by Dylan Hicks for “Los Angeles Review of Books”. “[book] is especially concerned with how word processing has changed the embodied labor of writing — its actual tasks, tools, and physical demands — and with how literary writers have embraced, resisted, and interpreted that transformation”. Track Changes is a fundamental reading in the field of digital humanities, comparative textual media, and electronic literature.

From Dada to Java

How should we read and interpret Taroko Gorge by Nick Montfort? What does it mean ‘bot’? Is Twitterbot a new literary form? “From Dada to Java: conversations about generative poetry & Twitter bots” is a film devoted to the explanation of these new types of writing and reading that is generative poetry. Sophie Skach, Betul Aksu, Victor Loux, and  Zhou Tang invite artists and theorists of electronic literature to elucidate a complicated nature of generative works. Among them are Montfort and Sandy Baldwin, both are writers of digital literature and members of Electronic Literature Organization. To explain the meaning of generative poetry, it seems necessary to situate it in the cultural context. It turns out that the generative poetry is the continuation of avant-garde literary practices, such as Dada and Oulipo. One of the goals of generative work is to produce a text that is a new literary experiment ‘written’ by a computer, not a human. Because of this, artists seek to generate work that is not an imitation of human’s work. Therefore, generative literature means to delve into an ‘inner layer’ of computer to disclose its creativity and features that are other than human. Eventually, we receive a text that does not reflect ‘human’ literary work, rather ‘non-human’ automated work produced by the cooperation between artist/programmer and computer.