Scripting Humour in Conversational Agents: Improvisation and Emergence of Humorous Interchanges

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Clark, Tom and Meany, Michael (2011) Scripting Humour in Conversational Agents: Improvisation and Emergence of Humorous Interchanges. International Journal of the Arts in Society, 5 (5). pp. 225-236. ISSN 1833-1866


This paper describes a creative project that will develop a pair of online computer-based conversational agents to interact as ‘comedian’ and ‘straight man’. The project will interrogate the scriptwriting process as it is applied in a new media environment at the confluence of human and non-human agency. In the context of this paper the term ‘scriptwriter’ carries two inter-related definitions: first, as a producer and crafter of dialogue for a character; and second, as a developer of computer script to guide the interactions of the conversational agents. It can be argued that the scriptwriter (in both guises) is part of a larger system of circular causality and is thus embedded within structures that both constrain and enable their actions and makes intentional choices to achieve particular aims or outcomes. The interaction of the conversational agents is a result of a creative practice that allows for the emergence of improvised responses based on scripted dialogue choices. This paper will explore the inter-related issues of scriptwriting, emergence, and improvisation in a new media environment.

Item type Article
Subjects Historical > Faculty/School/Research Centre/Department > School of Communication and the Arts
Historical > FOR Classification > 1904 Performing Arts and Creative Writing
Historical > SEO Classification > 9502 Communication
Keywords ResPubID23734, new media, conversational agents, artificial intelligence, emergence, humour, scriptwriting
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