Volunteers needed for storytelling study

08 January 2024

Calling all readers!

We're excited to announce the launch of The Lives of Literary Characters!

We need your help for the first-ever citizen science project to study the wealth of human storytelling.

How does it work? Volunteers will assist us by annotating stories to better understand the complex lives of fictional characters.

Characters are the backbone of storytelling. With your help, our aim is to build AI models to better understand who characters are and what they do within diverse narrative worlds to address one very big question: why do human beings tell stories?

The proliferation of stories today is astounding. There is simply no way to account for the breadth of human creativity without relying on AI. But these systems are often trained in biased or unknown ways.

By enlisting the help of readers like you, we can build better, more transparent AI systems to surface the intricate patterns upon which human stories are based. All of the data and models we generate will be open to the public, setting an important standard for transparent and inclusive AI. Our goal is not to build robot storytellers. With your help, we want to gain a deeper understanding of human storytelling.

Come get involved and give the project a try! Our first goal is to understand how characters interact with each other. You'll be asked to read short passages and help us figure out how characters are connected. We'll be rolling out new projects in the months to come but please come help us get started!

If you're a passionate reader of stories, we’d love you to join our group!

Citizen readers for citizen science: https://www.zooniverse.org/projects/citizenreaders/the-lives- of-literary-characters

Primary Contact: Prof. Andrew Piper, McGill University

U of Alberta and Amii contact: Prof. Geoffrey Rockwell