The speaker
Alexander has graduated in English Literature and Computer Science and has a PhD in computer linguistics. He works at the Institute of Information and Communication Technology at BAS. He’s an editor at the ShadowDance science fiction magazine and teaches Science Fiction at Sofia University. He frequently writes about literature in different formats and from different standpoints.
The talk
What is a (fictional) world?
This talk will bridge across different aspects of human knowledge: Literature, Philosophy and Artificial Intelligence. We will try to answer the question what does it mean for an AI to inhabit a world and whether this sense of inhabiting can be defined and understood. We will concentrate on neural networks of the “encoder” type, looked at through the lens of how they learn to make copies of objects and phenomena they have witnessed, creating a descriptive language of their own in the process. Every reader of fantasy and science fiction can tell whether they are in a world crafted by Tolkien, George Martin or Lucas, but how does an AI understand that? In this talk we will try together to discover the “magic of literature” in a most practical sense, by means of machine learning models – a useful task for every writer, content designer or game developer.