Day 2 – Tuesday 8 December Track 4: Power to the people!
Hello World, Meet Jane
Johan Sjöstrom & Jeroen Wilms
Ignite speakers Johan Sjöström & Jeroen Wilms connected as a result of a random series of happenstances. They befriended over a common goal and soon co-conspirated. Their goal: to create a narrative engine capable of worldly proportions. As a Sunday project, they started researching knowledge in any domain, to create an artificial narrative intelligence to do just that. Now founding their company Automatist, they are readying themselves to release their first version. ‘Jane’ is planned to see the light of men in 2020.
Johan studied Literature Theory at Mälardalens University. This was when he first came into contact with Russian formalist Vladimir Propp. Later, while studying Game Design and Programming at Uppsala University, Johan used Propp’s theories to create a rudimentary interactive narrative generator for iOS. Johan believes that all narratives – be they journalistic articles, sales conversations or Russian folktales – can be analyzed as systems and generated algorithmically.
“If a computer can understand stories, what is stopping that computer from creating new ones?”
Social entrepreneur Jeroen Wilms is fascinated by stories and their mystical powers. Whilst studying Management Creative Industries at NHTV University of Applied Sciences, he ran several creative organisations – profit and non-profit. His graduation piece introduced the cohesive approach to storymaking & placemaking – the art of co-creating meaningful places and stories to connect (to) people.
“People make stories and places & stories and places make people.”
This talk introduces Jane: first version of Automatist, an open source artificial narrative intelligence engine. Based on open data and an open pay-as-you-wish model, Jane will give anyone the same capabilities as those with money and power, democratizing the making and telling of any story. She will generate compelling and engaging stories, helping all people to stay creative and take control of their narratives.
With the advent of our connected society we believe we all have the power to tell stories on equal terms. But this ability is threatened by private companies already creating proprietary artificial intelligence automatically generating stories. Their business models center around selling access to those with power, allowing them to shift and dominate the narrative space. Jane is an attempt to provide this power to the masses, fully re-democratizing storymaking and -telling.
Jane is the brainchild of Jeroen & Johan. She was born during their Sunday project to level the narrative space.”
Vincent de Keijzer
Vincent de Keijzer is Project Coordinator Digital Media at the Gemeentemuseum The Hague. Although formed as librarian/documentalist, my expertise is mainly digitizing museum collections. The biggest part of my career I worked for the Gemeentemuseum The Hague, The Netherlands. I started there in 1990 as “old school” librarian and witnessed the introduction of ICT in the daily museum practice.
As head of the Documentation Department I managed a large digitizing project (circa 120.000 objects) and built the basics of an integrated information system for the objects, activities, buildings and persons related to the museum. Since 2008 I work as project coordinator Digital Media for the Gemeentemuseum. I develop and introduce new concepts and products to adapt the museum practice to the rapidly changing digital world. In my free time I like to develop IT concepts and applications adapted to my generation (50+).
“Wouldn’t it be great if we could be boundless chaotic, megalomaniac or social and create a sustainable and accessible digital archive at the same time?”
There is no subject you can think of or people are collecting it. From passionate amateurs who prefer to work in solitude on their contribution to mankind, to associations of (semi-) professionals who fanatically share their interests. All together they represent an enormous source of energy and expertise. Cultural Heritage Institutes could make use of the enthusiasm, knowledge and time of these collectors. They have enormous backlogs in documenting their collections and are forced to concentrate on the parts they consider the most valuable. For every subject in their collection though, even the most obscure ones, there is a collector somewhere who knows everything about it and could potentially help out. The question of how to exploit this potential is not easy to answer.
The highly specialized professional tools for digital registration and presentation are not easy to use in an amateur setting. The result is a large range of homemade and incompatible private digital archives. Some collectors just pile up information and digital documents with the idea they will sort it out later. Others build a comprehensive filling system that is too personal to be used by others. Some archives exist only in the social clouds without serious backups.
VERGEETmeNIET offers collectors the tools to create durable digital archives while being as chaotic, megalomaniac or social as they want. It suggests useful resources and specialist help and produces reliable and durable content. CH institutes can profit from this content when the collector is willing
NInA – where culture meets archive. The place for offline and online audience.
Agata Kołacz is in charge of International Affairs of National Audiovisual Institute (NInA), public cultural institution established to digitize, disseminate and promote the Polish audiovisual heritage, created by the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage. She built her background working for many cultural institutions and initiatives in Poland (PR manager for Art Stations Foundation by Grażyna Kulczyk, various collaborations with Malta Festival Poznań, organizer of Enter Music Festival in Poznań, V-ce president of No Women No Art Association and Festival, Press Officer of KonterART project). She used to work as TV journalist covering cultural thematic. She graduated International Training for Cultural Operators run by Association Marcel Hicter pour la Democratie Culturelle.
About National Audiovisual Institute (NInA):
NInA is a cutting-edge audiovisual arts center in Poland that has recently opened its doors to the public. A high-tech multifunction auditorium ready for 4K screenings, concerts, and theatre plays, a mediatheque with a rich collection of unique audiovisual materials, a plethora of workshops and classes for both children and senior citizens — all of it and more now available to visitors at the newly renovated headquarters. Offline projects complement the Institute’s online activities and intermesh with upcoming projects that NInA is developing for the Internet.
“Archives are fascinating base for conscious future.”
After 10 years of experience, at the end of May 2015 National Audiovisual Institute of Poland became the cultural Institution with day to day programme, prepared like a balance for our previous – archive and online activities. The new opportunities formed a new cultural institution, the most cutting-edge audiovisual arts center available 24/7 on the Internet, and open every day for the wide audience both born-digital and seniors. The opening of NInA’s new headquarters does not mean that the Institute will cease its online efforts. On the contrary, offline projects will complement the Institute’s online activities and fintermesh with upcoming projects that NInA is developing for the Internet.
Thanks to the extensive, high-grade technical infrastructure NInA servers form a major cluster of Polish culture, with over 5 petabytes of hard drive space at the Institute’s archive disposal. We keep on working to develop highly aware consumers and creators of audiovisual culture. Our online and offline program promotes all incarnations of Polish audiovisual heritage, showcasing the work of widely acclaimed artists as well as projects developed by newcomers and amateurs. We treat the present like latest version of the past. That’s why caring for our country’s most precious works of audiovisual art lies at the heart of what we do. We take care of them technically (by archiving and digitizing them) and functionally (by distributing them more attractively and effectively), but also socially: we want to rediscover Polish culture, to read it through contemporary eyes and to continually seek out new audiences for it among all generations, young and old.
Local Stories – Keep Stories, Share Stories, Make Stories
Erik’s work has always been about libraries. First in the music department ( discOtake ), then in DOK, the library concept center in Delft, the Netherlands in the marketing and communication department. Later he set up the innovation department with Jaap van de Geer and now he is the co-founder and director of Doklab. Doklab is a private company with the mission to connect people to collections. Doklab does this through consultancy, concept- and product development for libraries, museums and archives. Erik speaks at conferences all over the world on the use of library spaces and services and Doklab’s Extreme Library Makeover program.
Shanachie Media is a production company that Erik set up with his friend and colleague Jaap van de Geer that provides information and inspiration for libraries worldwide through world wide travels in the ShanachieTours and through a weekly internet library talk show This Week in Libraries. In 2009 Erik received the honorary title of Mover and Shaker by Library Journal.
“Public Libraries and Cultural Heritage institutions are great and natural partners in bringing people together and start a conversation on our shared past and our beautiful collections. Keep stories, Share Stories and Make Stories”
After the successful installation of the Heritage Browser in many libraries in the Netherlands Doklab started thinking about a new application that would make it possible to display more specific and ‘smaller’ stories and historical Images of visitors and historical societies. Doklab also added ways for visitors to contribute via mobile and the web. In short, a tool to show all kinds of local multimedia stories made by librarians and volunteers.
The Local Stories application Doklab developed to make this way of storytelling possible is now on display in many libraries in the Netherlands, but also in Denmark, Germany, Canada and soon also in Australia and in the UK.
Local Stories is made for interactive multitouch screens and tables to tell and show multimedia stories. In an easy to use CMS (Control Management System) the employees of the library, the historical society, teachers or other partners can build multimedia stories together. The ‘storytellers’ can work not only with text and images, but also with quiz questions, propositions, maps, audio and video files and collection items. In addition, Local Stories helps them by creating automatic links to archives or image collections, so that footage is automatically loaded into the application. Another great feature of Local Stories is that it makes it really easy and fun to exchange stories with partners. Hear more on Local Stories in the Ignite Talk at Dish 2015.