Michael Thu Oct 26 21:02:41 2000|
Re: Continued work avoidance mode
> Not necessarily. I know *PLENTY* of people who technically
> "exist", yet have no depth. If you're careful, you can pull this
> off without soiling your Muse. For my money, quality nonsense dialogue,
> such as you've been using to confuse poor Burke in his forum, is the way
> to go. No stories, no gags. Just nonsense. There's nothing out there like
> it. *AND* if you can set it up to be randomly generated, it'll require
> almost no effort on your part, leaving you free to... um... work.
Y'know, Lee, I can see that I've underestimated you all along. I've got to put some serious thought into this, but of course my goal has always been random generation. But I hadn't thought of *random* random generation, if you know what I mean. I was thinking of the Schankian-paradigm kind of scripty dialog generators. There's an excellent book, completely obscure and in fact I don't remember who wrote it except the guy was from England, but it's about a system which played tic-tac-toe with you, and writes a running commentary on the game, in perfectly grammatical and relatively idiomatic English, using speech-act theory and a lot of rules having to do with previous reference (so you can turn nouns into pronouns correctly, and so on.) All this in the late 70s as a matter of fact, and completely ignored.
And then there's a whole genre of dialog engines, starting with Eliza and working up into some pretty damned impressive stuff lately, for the Turing-Test competitions. Some of those are extremely human as long as you don't expect great intelligence or flexibility from them (i.e. they're extremely human, period.)
So ultimately I was thinking it'd be neat (heh) to have a system which would generate an entire storyline (story generators have also already been done) and then draw the comic to go with it. (Which has most definitely *not* been done.)
Of course it helps that I'm involved in the Indiana University doctoral program and I'm taking a seminar with Doug Hofstadter. You tend to go grandiose when you interact with Hofstadter.
BUT after all *that* talk, you're completely right. Nonsense cartoons could be pretty funny if they were done carefully.... Hmm. Or some combination of the two, so that isolated pearls of sense would occasionally protrude from the nonsense. Definite hmm. If you look at the top page of my site, you'll see at the bottom a "thought for the day" which is actually generated for each individual hit. It's not hard to write automatic sentence generators.
Include that with a vocabulary chooser which reads the Yahoo newsfeeds.... And you have topical nonsense. Hmm again. Then you add some simple dialog rules and the whole thing looks like it actually hangs together.....
I like this idea. I'm excited to be a part of it! I'm going to do it!