Monday, July 21, 2008

MEXICA: A Computer Model of Creativity in Writing - "Creativity" Disappointment again

When I shared my disappointment from the "creativity" of BRUTUS.1. - BRUTUS.1 the storytelling machine - preview of my review - I mentioned that I still have a bit of hope left to find something creative in another, newer framework, called MEXICA.

I've been reading the thesis:

THE UNIVERSITY OF SUSSEX

MEXICA: A Computer Model of Creativity in Writing

Submitted for the degree of D. Phil
Rafael Pérez y Pérez


...and I was disappointed again. Too simple, hand-driven, naive, not learning.

Dudes... Fellow Computational creativity researches... Creativity?! We need it...

I'm a bit shocked. One may receive a PhD or even be one of the top researchers in Computational Creativity for models which are almost hand-driven and do "create" almost pre-written stories in such a small space of possibilities...

You may get a PhD in Computational Creativity by creating systems which lack learning and imagination... They just play with few parameters like "tension", "emotional links". Wow...


A story by MEXICA
(uppercase - original)

JAGUAR_KNIGHT WAS AN INHABITANT OF THE GREAT TENOCHTITLAN. PRINCESS
WAS AN INHABITANT OF THE GREAT TENOCHTITLAN. TLALOC —THE GOD OF THE
RAIN— WAS ANGRY AND SENT A STORM. THE HEAVY RAIN DAMAGED THE OLD
WOODEN BRIDGE. WHEN JAGUAR_KNIGHT TRIED TO CROSS THE RIVER THE BRIDGE
COLLAPSED INJURING BADLY JAGUAR_KNIGHT'S HEAD. PRINCESS KNEW THAT
JAGUAR_KNIGHT COULD DIE AND THAT PRINCESS HAD TO DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT.
PRINCESS HAD HEARD THAT THE TEPESCOHUITLE WAS AN EFFECTIVE CURATIVE
PLANT. SO, PRINCESS PREPARED A PLASMA AND APPLIED IT TO JAGUAR_KNIGHT'S
WOUNDS. IT WORKED AND JAGUAR_KNIGHT STARTED TO RECUPERATE!
JAGUAR_KNIGHT REALISED THAT PRINCESS'S DETERMINATION HAD SAVED
JAGUAR_KNIGHT'S LIFE.

DURING THE LAST WAR PRINCESS'S FATHER HUMILIATED ENEMY'S FAMILY. NOW, IT
WAS TIME OF REVENGE AND ENEMY KIDNAPPED PRINCESS. THEY WENT TO THE
FOREST WHERE ENEMY TIED PRINCESS TO A HUGE ROCK. EXACTLY AT MIDNIGHT
ENEMY WOULD CUT PRINCESS UP. ALTHOUGH IT WAS VERY DANGEROUS
JAGUAR_KNIGHT DECIDED TO DO SOMETHING IN ORDER TO LIBERATE PRINCESS. FOR
SOME MINUTES JAGUAR_KNIGHT PRAYED TO QUETZALCOATL —THE FEATHERED
SNAKE, THE GOD BETWEEN THE GODS— AND ASKED FOR WISDOM AND BRAVENESS.
NOW JAGUAR_KNIGHT WAS READY TO FIND OUT ITS FATE.
PRINCESS WAS REALLY ANGRY FOR WHAT HAD HAPPENED AND AFFRONTED ENEMY.
ENEMY'S FRAME OF MIND WAS VERY VOLATILE AND WITHOUT THINKING ABOUT IT
ENEMY CHARGED AGAINST PRINCESS. MEANWHILE JAGUAR_KNIGHT DECIDED TO
START A SEARCH FOR ENEMY. AFTER HARD WORK AND DIFFICULT MOMENTS
JAGUAR_KNIGHT COULD FINALLY FIND ENEMY. JAGUAR_KNIGHT, FULL OF ANGER,
TOOK A DAGGER AND ATTACKED ENEMY. JAGUAR_KNIGHT THREW SOME DUST IN
ENEMY'S FACE. THEN, USING A DAGGER JAGUAR_KNIGHT PERFORATED ENEMY'Sഊ104
CHEST. IMITATING THE SACRED CEREMONY OF THE SACRIFICE, JAGUAR_KNIGHT
TOOK ENEMY'S HEART WITH ONE HAND AND RAISED IT TOWARDS THE SUN AS A SIGN
OF RESPECT TO THE GODS.
JAGUAR_KNIGHT WALKED TOWARDS PRINCESS. FULL OF ADMIRATION FOR ALL THE
BRAVENESS THAT PRINCESS HAD SHOWN IN THOSE HARD MOMENTS
JAGUAR_KNIGHT LIBERATED PRINCESS! ALTHOUGH AT THE BEGINNING PRINCESS
DID NOT WANT TO ADMIT IT, PRINCESS FELL IN LOVE WITH JAGUAR_KNIGHT.
PRINCESS WAS KISSING JAGUAR_KNIGHT WHEN SUDDENLY PRINCESS RECOGNISED
JAGUAR_KNIGHT'S TATTOO. IT WAS THE SAME AS THE ONE USED BY THE
FRATERNITY WHICH HAD MURDERED PRINCESS'S FATHER SOME MONTHS AGO. AT
ONCE ALL THOSE TERRIBLE MEMORIES WERE PRESENT AGAIN. PRINCESS HAD
AMBIVALENT THOUGHTS TOWARDS JAGUAR_KNIGHT. ON THE ONE HAND PRINCESS
HAD STRONG FEELINGS FOR JAGUAR_KNIGHT BUT ON THE OTHER HAND PRINCESS
ABOMINATED WHAT JAGUAR_KNIGHT DID. PRINCESS FELT A DEEPLY ODIUM FOR
JAGUAR_KNIGHT. INVOKING HUITZILOPOCHTLI, GOD OF THE DEAD, PRINCESS CUT
JAGUAR_KNIGHT'S JUGULAR. THE BLOOD COVERED THE FLOOR. PRINCESS TOOK A
DAGGER AND CUT PRINCESS’S THROAT. PRINCESS BLED TO DEATH WHILE TONATIU
(THE GOD REPRESENTING THE SUN) DISAPPEARED IN THE HORIZON.


It would be nice, if the text wasn't generated by simple patterns - the system has no idea what is "the god representing the sun", or what means to display a sign to god or so. It can't generate alternative wording, e.g. Text comes from simple text patterns, which are pasted.


...MEXICA ER2 story together with the human story got the highest score. These results suggest that the process followed by MEXICA to create suspense and interesting stories work adequately....

Sure...

...MEXICA is a good example of how a computer model forces the modeller to think about all the details of a theory. Sharples’ (1996) account of the writing process is very general, i.e. it does not include details about the cognitive processes performed during writing....

Yep... But imagination of a writer is extremely richer and flexible than such basic models...
And more complex realistic simulations are needed - those boring predefined text-patterns are not enough.

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