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AI Storytelling in Virtual Worlds

Course numbers: CS 7634 / CS 4803 / LMC 8803 MR
Monday/Wednesday/Friday 11:05 - 11:55
Van Leer C456

Instructor: Mark Riedl, riedl@cc.gatech.edu
234 Technology Square Research Building (TSRB)
Office Hours: Tuesdays 1-4pm, and by appointment

Teaching Assistant: Mikhail Jacob, mikhail.jacob@gatech.edu
325 Technology Square Research Building (TSRB)
Office Hours: Mondays and Thursdays, 2-3pm



Advances in artificial intelligence, 3D graphics, and understanding of narrative phenomenon have made it possible to begin thinking about and designing computational systems that reason about and manipulate stories. Why is this important? Narrative is a fundamental mode of cognition used by humans for communication, sense-making, entertainment, education, and training. Storytelling has recently gained popularity as a tool for motivating and engaging users in a variety of application domains. When computers start thinking in narrative terms---emulating human naturalistic modes of thought---amazing things can happen. This class will explore the narratological and cognitive theories underpinning human narrative thought. It will survey the state of the art in artificial intelligence technologies that create and understand stories in a host of application domains including:

Course Project

The course will involve a semester-long project in which teams of students build a quest-generation game for mobile GPS-enabled platforms. Results of the class will be playable geo-location based Alternate Reality Games that adapt narrative quests to the individual preferences and choices of the player. The goal of the course project is to explore the way in which narrative can break down barriers between the virtual world where games are traditionally played and the real world where people live their lives. Successful projects will explore a space of entertainment experiences that have never been directly addressed in the commercial mobile marketplace. For an example of what this might look like, see the video mockup of an AI-driven Alternate Reality Game.


Students are expected to have familiarity with artificial intelligence. Students should be comfortable reading about and implementing AI algorithms.