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The Daily Dot (Licensed)
Can algorithms really tell compelling human stories?
Procedural generation is no stranger to narrative media like video games. But it’s especially compelling (and creepy) in podcast form.
Ph.D. student James Ryan is the creator of Sheldon County, a podcast that’s generated and hosted by artificial intelligence. As a programmer, Ryan sets the rules of this “universe”—character traits, geographic parameters—and then algorithms simulate the story based on a random number generator. That story is then told to you, the listener, with an artificial voice. And no two stories are exactly alike.
This week on 2 Girls 1 Podcast, Alli and Jen (actors who perform weird internet stuff on stage) talk to Ryan about this fascinating experiment, what it means for the future of entertainment, and whether a creepy AI voice will put them out of work.
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Matt Silverman is the director of video and producer of 2 Girls 1 Podcast at the Daily Dot. He has been making internet shows and viral videos for nearly a decade, and has directed top talent including John Oliver, Kevin Bacon, Kate McKinnon, Alton Brown, and the Sesame Street Muppets. Silverman is also the creator of FREE DAD VIDEOS, a comedy and music channel with his young children.