“We know that AI terrifies us in the abstract sense. But can AI scare us in the immediate, visceral sense?”

MIT researchers trained AI to write horror stories based on 140,000 Reddit posts—Thu-Huong Ha, Quartz [see also]

The team behind Shelley is hoping to learn more about how machines can evoke emotional responses in humans. “The rapid progress in the field of Artificial Intelligence (AI) has people worried about everything from mass unemployment to the annihilation of the human race at the hand of evil robots,” writes researcher Iyad Rahwan by email. “We know that AI terrifies us in the abstract sense. But can AI scare us in the immediate, visceral sense?”

Shelley, named after Frankenstein author Mary Shelley, is interactive. After the program tweets a few opening lines, it asks people on Twitter to continue the story, and if the story is popular, it responds to those responses.

Using information from 140,000 stories from Reddit’s r/nosleep, Shelley produces story beginnings that range in creepiness, and in quality. There’s some classic “scary stuff,” like a narrator who thinks she’s alone and then sees eyes in the dark, but also premises one can only imagine are Reddit-user-inspired, like family porn.

Make Automatic Dungeon Maps

Check out this interesting discussion about the use for maths for generation of dungeons from Occupy Math at Make Automatic Dungeon Maps

Occupy Math is a member of the IEEE Computational Intelligence Society’s Technical Committee on Games. What this means is that now that games are a multi-billion dollar industry, Occupy Math can use the stuff he learned refereeing Dungeons and Dragons ™ in his academic research. While Occupy Math works on mathematical games like prisoner’s dilemma and rock-paper-scissors, he also has managed to build an automatic dungeon designer for simple role playing game modules. Here is a map built by one of Occupy Math’s algorithms. The algorithm assembles tiles according to a plan to make a really big map.