I am honored to have guest lectured for Brian Kane‘s Artificial Intelligence (AI) Design class at the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) on September 15th, 2016. My talk is titled “The Storytelling Machine”, which is a play on Marvin Minsky’s “The Emotion Machine” 6-layered cognitive architectural theory of mind.
Abstract: Why is AI such an ancient, romantic, and magical human story? What do humans need and want? I will present a story of Artificial Intelligence that emphasizes that the answers to these questions come down to what I will refer to as “a good story”. Taking these questions from the perspective of Marvin Minsky’s “Society of Mind” and “Emotion Machine” theories of mind, I present what I believe is a good story of human understanding of human thinking, which is a beautiful and intricately ornate, deep and powerful story of human goals and self-understanding. Stories can be seen as the fundamental unit of human thought. Storytelling and story understanding, being the foundation of human cognition, involving all aspects of human intelligence from the built-in reactive forms of interactions with the physical world, to learned habitual forms of thinking, to deliberate planned thinking processes that create plans toward goals, gives us a grounded mathematical basis in goal-oriented problem solving for understanding the myriad forms of clear emotions and social relationships that designers and artists are beginning to communicate through a computational medium to their audiences in a new interactive domain of computational storytelling. As these basic forms of artificial intelligence technology are developed and become successful start-ups in the business world, researchers and practitioners in education, medicine, and entertainment industries are beginning to build the top two layers of Marvin Minsky’s 6-layered theory of mind: (5) the self-reflective, and (6) the self-consciously reflective layers of human cognition.