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196: Technology & Storytelling

Artificial Intelligence is a hot topic in so many fields and disciplines, particularly those that involve creative thinking and creative making. How will it change the way we work? How do we keep up with it all to remain relevant? Will AI take our creative jobs? 

This is a topic big enough for its own series, but I knew I wanted to collaborate with AI to some degree on this series, versus trying to ignore the elephant in the room. So I leaned on it at the beginning of the process when trying to determine what questions to ask the guests in this series. ChatGPT gave me a long list of questions that I narrowed down and placed in a sequence I believed would make sense. While I create questions without the help of AI all the time, I wanted to make sure I wasn’t missing or forgetting anything important about the area of storytelling, as I needed a uniform set of questions that would work from the first guest to the final guest. 

I’m going to lean on AI again at this point in the process to provide me with a more well-rounded understanding of the intersections of technology and storytelling. So I’m prompting ChatGPT with the following ask (politely, of course, because you never know when the machines are keeping tabs on this sort of thing): Please provide a one paragraph summary about the ways in which technology enables stories to be told better, faster, or in unique ways.

Technology has revolutionized storytelling by offering unprecedented avenues for creativity, speed, and engagement. Through digital platforms and tools, stories can now be disseminated instantly to global audiences, transcending geographical boundaries. Enhanced multimedia capabilities, including virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR), provide immersive experiences that blur the line between fiction and reality, deepening audience engagement. Additionally, artificial intelligence (AI) algorithms analyze vast amounts of data to personalize content, ensuring that stories resonate with diverse audiences on a profound level. Furthermore, collaborative storytelling platforms enable collective creativity, empowering individuals to co-create narratives in real-time. In essence, technology has democratized storytelling, offering storytellers unparalleled opportunities to captivate, connect, and inspire audiences worldwide.

Ohhhhhh, she’s good.

Let’s dive a little deeper, ChatGPT: Please provide a list of five ways that creative storytellers leverage different technologies to help them in their storytelling efforts.

  1. Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR): Creative storytellers utilize VR and AR technologies to immerse audiences in their narratives, allowing them to experience stories in a more interactive and visceral manner. Whether it's exploring fictional worlds in VR games or overlaying digital elements onto the real world through AR apps, these technologies enhance storytelling by providing unique sensory experiences.

  2. Social Media and Digital Platforms: Storytellers leverage social media platforms, websites, and digital publishing tools to distribute their content to a global audience instantly. Platforms like Instagram, TikTok, and YouTube offer storytellers the ability to share short-form videos, images, and micro-stories, engaging with audiences in real-time and building communities around their narratives.

  3. Data Analytics and Personalization: With advancements in data analytics and AI, storytellers can analyze audience preferences and behaviors to tailor content to individual tastes. By understanding audience demographics, interests, and engagement patterns, creators can craft more relevant and compelling stories that resonate with their target audience on a deeper level, leading to increased viewer retention and loyalty.

  4. Interactive Storytelling Platforms: Creative storytellers leverage interactive storytelling platforms and tools to engage audiences in co-creating narratives. Platforms like Twine and Inklewriter enable users to choose their own adventure, allowing them to make decisions that shape the direction of the story. By giving audiences agency in the storytelling process, creators foster deeper immersion and emotional investment in the narrative.

  5. Motion Capture and Animation: Motion capture technology and animation software empower storytellers to bring characters and worlds to life in ways that were previously unimaginable. By capturing actors' movements and expressions in real-time and translating them into animated characters, creators can imbue their stories with heightened realism and emotional depth, fostering stronger connections between audiences and the narrative's protagonists.

While AI is very good at regurgitating information already available on the web, it can’t create a story with a real human experience behind it, one that is totally nuanced and specific and uniquely human in its existence. Only a human can do that. 

So now I’m going to ask the nine creative humans a similar question, specific to their creative practice: Can you discuss the intersection of technology and storytelling in your field, and how advancements may influence the way you approach narrative in your projects?

Their answers provided me with some wonderful insights I hadn’t thought of, as well as conversations that veered richly into more nuanced topics, often told through story and anchored to personal experiences.

In the next episode, I pose the question: How has the evolution of your own life experiences impacted the stories you choose to tell through your artistic endeavours?

To be continued…


Meet the 9 Creatives Featured in This Series


Sound & Music Credits

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