You are here

Giving Robots a Life: Writing Personality and Backstory for AI Assistants

Elizabeth Arredondo, Giving Robots a Life: Writing Personality and Backstory for AI Assistants. The recent explosion in artificial intelligence has led to a demand for writers who can create the “personalities” that accompany AI tools. As the Washington Post recently put it, “[b]ehind Apple’s Siri, Amazon’s Alexa and Microsoft’s Cortana are not just software engineers. Increasingly, there are poets, comedians, fiction writers, and other artistic types charged with engineering the personalities for a fast-growing crop of artificial intelligence tools.” Elizabeth Arredondo is among the small but growing group of writers working at the intersection of creative writing and artificial intelligence. Her talk will cover her real-world experiences developing and user-testing the personality and conversations for a robot wellness coach, including how she leverages her background as a television writer. Elizabeth Arredondo is a writer focused on created compelling characters for television and interactive mediums. She is currently designing the personality, backstory, and the conversations for a robotic wellness coach named Mabu. Mabu is the latest effort in social robotics from Cory Kidd, formerly of MIT’s Media Lab. After earning her MFA in Writing for Screen and TV from USC’s School for Cinematic Arts in 2005, Elizabeth received a feature film writing fellowship and participated in NBC’s “Writers on the Verge” program. Elizabeth worked as a staff writer on the primetime CBS drama COLD CASE. She has also worked with a network to develop an original pilot.
Interactive media and games increasingly pervade and shape our society. In addition to their dominant roles in entertainment, videogames play growing roles in education, arts, science and health. This seminar series brings together a diverse set of experts to provide interdisciplinary perspectives on these media regarding their history, technologies, scholarly research, industry, artistic value and potential future. As the speakers and title suggest, the series also provides a topical lens for the diverse aspects of our lives.



Tuesday, February 14, 2017. 12:00 PM


McMurtry Art & Art History Building, Oshman Presentation Space, Room 102


Bio-X Program, mediaX


Free and open to the public on space available basis.
Also listed as one-unit course BIOE196