The NIL acronym (Natural Interaction based on Language) identifies a group of researchers and practitioners whose interests converge towards the development of interfaces based on language for modern day IT applications for modifying or finding information, issuing commands, or present output results in a way easy to understand.
Various Artificial Intelligence techniques contribute towards this goal. The mainstay of NIL is obviously a strong Natural Language Processing component. However, the complexities of language interactions require the use of additional techniques of Knowledge Representation, Expert Systems, Case-Based Reasoning, Evolutionary Algorithms, User Modeling and Computational Creativity.
NIL arises in 2005 to provide a minimal infrastructure to house colaborative projects between researchers at Universidad Complutense de Madrid. Nevertheless, it is open to contributions from researchers affiliated at other institutions if they are interested in the stated goals. At the same point, NIL is born with the overall goal of developing the technologies that it researchs on to the point where they can be used for practical applications. For this reason, we are always on the look out for opportunities to test the applicability of our work in real life situations.
NIL researchers participate in the creation of Beyond the Fence, world's first computer-generated musical to debut in London in February 2016.
Beyond the Fence will play at the Arts Theatre in London’s West End from 22 February – 5 March 2016, directed by Luke Sheppard, choreographed by Cressida Carre and produced by Neil Laidlaw. Press Night is Friday 26 February, 7pm.
Beyond the Fence is conceived by computer and substantially crafted by computer. It is modelled on a statistical study of the ‘recipe for success’ in hit musicals. This ground-breaking process s being filmed for a Sky Arts TV series titled ‘Computer Says Show’, chronicling this unique experiment (to be broadcast in spring 2016). In collaboration with leading experts in music, computation and the science of human creativity, composer Benjamin Till and his husband, writer and actor, Nathan Taylor, the award winning team behind ‘Our Gay Wedding: The Musical’ (Channel 4), will bring a whole range of computer-generated material to life, presiding over the creation of an emotionally powerful and exciting West End show which is at the same time the grandest of experiments. That experiment has been designed and co-ordinated by Dr Catherine Gale, who also produces and directs the series.
Beyond the Fence started as an experiment, with researchers delving into what makes a good musical, from production and story to music and lyrics. Scientists used their findings to fine-tune computational systems which would in turn create brand new musical material. The question is: can these computer algorithms create something collaboratively with humans that can entertain, touch or inspire them? We’ll only know once the show, designed to deliver the optimum elements for a success, opens as part of this challenging and magnificent new production.
The process began with a predictive, big data analysis of success in musical theatre, conducted by Dr James Robert Lloyd, Dr Alex Davies and Prof Sir David Spiegelhalter (Cambridge University). They interrogated everything from cast size, to backdrop, emotional structure to the importance of someone falling love, dying (or both!) – in more and less successful shows – to create a set of constraints to which the musical had to conform, to theoretically optimise chances of success.
Next, the team visited what’s known as the What-If Machine at Goldsmiths, University of London. With Prof Simon Colton, Dr Teresa Llano and Dr Rose Hepworth at the helm, the machine generated multiple central premises, featuring key characters, for the new show. The team selected this as the starting point and the original idea for the musical:
What if a wounded soldier had to learn how to understand a child in order to find true love?
A plot structure for the musical was also generated computationally, thanks to work led by Dr Pablo Gervás (Complutense University of Madrid). A brand new analysis of musical theatre narratives enabled him to adapt an existing story telling computer system, called PropperWryter, to turn its hand to musicals and build the core narrative arc of the new show.
Taken together, all of the above enabled the precinct for the emerging story to be identified: Greenham Common. The team then wrote a book and lyrics (with the assistance of some other computational tools) that fitted all these constraints.
Finally, the music material has been provided by Dr Nick Collins (Durham University), who has created a computer composition system he calls Android Lloyd Webber based on a machine listening analysis of musical theatre music, conducted by Dr Bob Sturm (QMUL) and Dr Tillman Weyde (City University). Additional computer music material will be generated using the FlowComposer system created by Dr Pierre Roy and Dr Francois Pachet (SonyCSL, Paris).
Beyond the Fence is in part a result of our participation in the WHIM research project.
Watch the video in youtube.
Photograph: Sky Arts TV
La estrategia presenta un conjunto de actuaciones a cinco años en el que la Administración adopta el papel de motor de la industria.
Pablo Gervás y Carlos León, entrevistados para el programa ConCiencia, de Telemadrid.
The NIL research group (http://nil.fdi.ucm.es/) at Complutense University of Madrid is looking for Research Associates, PhD students and post-doctoral fellows.
The successful candidates will participate in "WHIM-The What If Machine" a project on Computational Creativity (http://www.whim-project.eu) which is supported and funded by the European Union. The aim of this project is to study the possibilities of automatic generation of What-if Ideas. In the frame of this project, NIL research group will undertake the following tasks:
- creation of computational metrics for narrative evaluation
- rich story generation
- knowledge representation and use of available knowledge bases
- low level representation of what-if ideas
Applicants should have a good undergraduate or masters degree in an area related to Artificial Intelligence and Computational Narrative (eg, computer science). A PhD degree related to the project topics would be a plus. Research experience in automatic story generation, natural language processing, knowledge representation, natural language generation, and Java or Python programming would be desirable. Additional experience in logic, ontologies, grammars and/or web services will be considered a plus.
Positions will be awarded based on academic excellence (in a relevant discipline, e.g. computer science) and potential for future achievement. Positions offered are until the end of the project (30/9/2016). Salary will be fixed according to qualification and experience of the candidate.
There is no formal closing date, this position will remain open until it is filled.
Expressions of interest, including full CV and a letter advocating the candidates suitability to address the tasks described above should be addressed to Carlos León
We organize the ICCBR-15 Workshop on Experience and Creativity (Frankfurt, September 28, 2015)
The goal of the ICCBR-15 Workshop on Experience and Creativity is to address common areas of interest in Case-Based Reasoning (CBR) and Computational Creativity (CC) by addressing research issues that are related to both communities. However, our goal is not to 'compare' CC systems and CBR systems. Our goal is to explore and analyze how the new and innovative (creativity) is related to, depends upon, and needs to break away to from the old and know (experience). The main focus of the workshop will be on exploring the relationship between past examples in a domain and computational creativity in that domain is an interesting an issue that has not been explicitly addressed in the past.
The Digital Agenda for Europe promotes our WHIM Project!
Con motivo de la celebración de la Semana de la Ciencia 2014 y como actividad dentro de la misma, el grupo de investigación NIL de la Universidad Complutense de Madrid, en colaboración con las profesoras de la Facultad de Filología de la UNED Elena González Blanco y Clara Martínez Cantón, del Laboratorio de Innovación de Humanidades Digitales (LINHD) organizó un taller científico para niños de 10 y 11 años titulado “Cuando las personas y las máquinas juegan con las palabras”.
En total participaron en la actividad 22 estudiantes del colegio Estilo (Madrid), y se celebró en la Facultad de Informática de la Universidad Complutense de Madrid, el día 4 de noviembre del 2014, de 11:00 a 13:00.
En este taller, los estudiantes interaccionaron con una Inteligencia Artificial capaz de generar poemas de forma colaborativa. El sistema analiza los poemas escritos por los estudiantes y les da el resultado. A la vez, se basa en el poema escrito por ellos para generar un poema, evaluarlo, y comparar la evaluación con la del estudiante.
El sistema está implementado como un servicio en Internet al que los estudiantes, a través de los equipos del laboratorio, pudieron conectarse y usar.
En una sesión anterior al taller, Pablo Gervás acudió al colegio para darles una charla introductoria sobre Inteligencia Artificial y generación de poesía de manera automática.
Durante la sesión, se llevaron a cabo las siguientes actividades:
• Recibimiento y presentaciones
• Visita al Museo de la Informática de la facultad
• Llegada a los laboratorios
• Charla sobre poesía, a cargo de Elena González-Blanco y Clara I. Martínez Cantón (UNED)
• Charla sobre Inteligencia Artificial y Creatividad Computacional (Carlos León, UCM)
• Interacción con el sistema de generación, tutelada por el equipo UCM.
• Conclusiones y despedida.
El equipo organizador de la UCM estuvo formado por:
• Pablo Gervás Gómez-Navarro
• Susana Bautista Blasco
• Raquel Hervás Ballesteros
• Carlos León Aznar
• Gonzalo Méndez Pozo
• Alberto Díaz Esteban
Según el propio testimonio de los estudiantes y sus tutoras, el taller resultó un éxito. Los estudiantes no sólo aprendieron muchos conceptos nuevos sobre la ciencia de la Inteligencia Artificial para crear arte, sino que pudieron manejar de primera mano un sistema inteligente
The First Annual Contact Forum of the PROSECCO (PROmoting the Scientific Exploration of Computational Creativity) network will be held in El Escorial, Madrid from February 21-23 inclusive. (http://prosecco-network.eu/)
The forum will bring together international researchers whose work can inform CC research and be informed in turn by ongoing CC efforts.
Organized by Pablo Gervás, UCM.
More information about the talks in the Contact Forum page at the PROSECCO web site.
Pablo's talk at the Autumn School on Computational Creativity (ASCC2013, Porvoo, Finland) is already available.
Computational Creativity in Literary Artifacts: Narrative and Poetry