SICSA Distinguished Visiting Fellow Dr Rogelio Cardona-Rivera from the University of Utah will be giving a talk entitled "Modeling Narrative Intelligence to Support Adaptive Virtual Environments" on Friday, 16 August at 11:00am in the Robotarium Seminar Room, Heriot-Watt University. Details of his talk are below.
Interactive narratives are used for an ever-expanding array of purposes: educational lessons, training simulations, and even organizational behaviors have had narratives woven around them because these are made more compelling in a dramatic framing. Despite their ubiquity, they remain time-consuming, expensive, and technically challenging to engineer. The automated creation of narrative content, otherwise known as procedural narrative generation, stands poised to ameliorate this challenge. However, current artificial intelligence techniques remain agnostic of the user’s narratively-oriented cognitive faculties, which are important for the effective design of interactive narrative experiences. In this talk, I will present my approach to developing intelligent systems that reify a user’s cognition to inform the automated construction of interactive stories. These systems model our human narrative intelligence, and advance a future science of interactive narrative design. My approach will be presented in the context of a specific interactive narrative phenomenon: the perception of narrative affordances, which centers on explaining how users imagine themselves taking actions in an unfolding narrative virtual environment.
Dr Rogelio E. Cardona-Rivera is an Assistant Professor in the School of Computing and the Entertainment Arts and Engineering Program at the University of Utah, where he directs the Laboratory for Quantitative Experience Design. Alongside his students, he researches technologies to improve and define narrative intelligence through cognitive science, with an emphasis on artificial intelligence and cognitive psychology. He received his PhD and MSc in Computer Science from North Carolina State University, and his BSc in Computer Engineering from the University of Puerto Rico at Mayagüez. Rogelio has published at diverse, high-impact venues in and around intelligent narrative technologies, and his work has been recognized with a Best Paper Award at the International Conference on Interactive Digital Storytelling (ICIDS) in 2012, a Best Student Paper on a Cognitive Science Topic at the Workshop on Computational Models of Narrative in 2012, and an Honourable Mention for Best Paper at the ACM Computer-Human Interaction Conference in 2016. In 2017, he was recognized as a “New and Future Educator in AI” by the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence. He has served on numerous program committees, co-chaired the Workshops at the 2017 AAAI Conference on Artificial Intelligence and Interactive Digital Entertainment, was an Invited Keynote at the 2018 ACM SIGGRAPH Conference on Motion, Interaction and Games, and will co-chair the program of the 2019 ICIDS. Rogelio has interned as a computational narratologist at Sandia National Laboratories and Disney Research, and his research is supported by IARPA, the U.S. Department of Energy, and the U.S. National GEM Consortium
Dr Cardona-Rivera's visit is being co-hosted by Ron Petrick from Heriot-Watt University and Mary Ellen Foster from the University of Glasgow. Please contact Ron (R.Petrick@hw.ac.uk) if you would like to meet with Dr Cardona-Rivera after his talk.