AI Narrative: Modelling ‘mind’

What is narrative and how is it structured?

When I think about this, I am reminded of the helix project. Part of this experimental work was focused on trying to find a way to capture, organise, connect and disseminate, practice-based research.

Helix App Concept

At that time, when trying to represent the structure and process of mind, I turned to psychology. I used mental modelling theory (Craik, k, Johnson-Laird, P, Taversky,B) to Provide terms to help articulate my concept and inform the visual representation of mind 
I noted that when talking to people about how they think, I asked them to recall memories and describe how they did this. Some described a pathway, a cycle, a spiral or a labyrinth. Others described an experience of running and catching ideas, some playing golf but these activities were usually constructed in a world model of some sort. 
For me, at that time, I aligned my model as a cloud from which my ‘timeline’ was drawn as a spiral model. Through which I could look down and pick out key moments back in time. My memories were as ‘bubbles’ within a cloud. I could connect these together to recall a memory and was through this process that a narrative could be formed as a linear, sequential story line. This seemed limited and I wanted the audience to be able to see my model and have free access to my memories (and research). 
(I will publish the animation for Helix shortly).

I found that without having an image or physical/digital representation of my mental model, I would gesture and act out the mental model by using my hands and body, my finger pointing to an invisible structure in the air. 
This made me think about how I could give users the option of choosing their own model through which they could embed their own memories. 
3 months ago, I thought about how to represent the development of my experimental work. I considered how I might create this as a physical and virtual exhibition. 
I represented my ‘mind’ as a spiral along which a visitor could walk. 

I placed some examples of my work on the path. The visitors would have had the option of walking up and down the path. 

This was concept was further developed as a double helix with joining tunnels. This meant that  visitors could change paths if they chose to. This form was structured into the Lunarium project to give players the option to change their minds and ultimately their final ending. 

Research indicates that there is a way to effectively direct the story through spatial design and now I am thinking about how I can control instances of character interaction. I am thinking about these key moments, their narrative weight and whether I need or want, full control.

Questions such as ‘What do we want players to experience? What story would we like them to hear? Will we need to control the storyline in some parts? How might this be controlled and could this be less invasive? How might we create the right conditions for a ‘naturalised’ Interaction? At what point might the narrative breakdown?, are significant.

When it comes to ‘controlling’ players experience, the notion of control undoubtably raises questions of ethics and best practice, but I think AI appeals to me because the players have more control over their experience. In the next phase of research, I am going to examine Narrative structure, VR Narrative in general and specifically AI Narrative design. To do this, I need to take a closer look at some contemporary examples.