Title: Buzz: Mining and Presenting Interesting Stories

Authors: Sara Owsley Sood

Addresses: Department of Computer Science, Pomona College, 185 East Sixth Street, Claremont, CA 91711, USA

Abstract: Living in a world where the machine and the internet are ubiquitous, many people work and play online, in a world that is, ironically, often isolated and lonesome. While the internet, as intended, connects us to information, products and services, it often draws us away from the rich connections that are created through interpersonal communication. The goal of this work is to use the machine to connect people. Not only to information, products or services, but also to each other. The author proposes to use the machine, the very machine that pulls us apart, to bring us together, connecting people through stories. People tell stories as a way to be less lonesome, reaching out to people that they can relate to. The system that the author describes in this article is intended to facilitate and amplify connections between people through stories. Buzz is a digital theatre installation that autonomously finds and exposes the most emotional stories from the millions of blog postings on the web, bringing the stories to life with a cast of virtual actors using speech synthesis. This system serves the goal of using the machine to connect people, not only to information or products, but also to each other.

Keywords: digital art; digital theatre; emotion; narrative; story generation; story telling; weblogs; internet; connecting people; stories; virtual actors; speech synthesis; interpersonal communication; blogs.

DOI: 10.1504/IJART.2008.019887

International Journal of Arts and Technology, 2008 Vol.1 No.1, pp.131 - 155

Published online: 13 Aug 2008 *

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