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On Narrative Information and the Distillation of Stories
Dylan Ashley · Vincent Herrmann · Zachary Friggstad · Jürgen Schmidhuber
Event URL: https://openreview.net/forum?id=Q2xpIFubR8M »

The act of telling stories is a fundamental part of what it means to be human. This work introduces the concept of narrative information, which we define to be the overlap in information space between a story and the items that compose the story. Using contrastive learning methods, we show how modern artificial neural networks can be leveraged to distill stories and extract a representation of the narrative information. We then demonstrate how evolutionary algorithms can leverage this to extract a set of narrative templates and how these templates---in tandem with a new novel curve-fitting algorithm we introduce---can reorder music albums to automatically induce stories in them. In the process of doing so, we give strong statistical evidence that these templates under narrative information are present in existing albums. While we experiment only with music albums here, the premises of our work extend to any form of (largely) independent media.

Author Information

Dylan Ashley (Università della Svizzera Italiana)
Vincent Herrmann (The Swiss AI Lab IDSIA)
Zachary Friggstad (University of Alberta)
Jürgen Schmidhuber (Swiss AI Lab, IDSIA (USI & SUPSI); NNAISENSE; KAUST)

Since age 15 or so, the main goal of professor Jürgen Schmidhuber has been to build a self-improving Artificial Intelligence (AI) smarter than himself, then retire. His lab's Deep Learning Neural Networks based on ideas published in the "Annus Mirabilis" 1990-1991 have revolutionised machine learning and AI. By the mid 2010s, they were on 3 billion devices, and used billions of times per day through users of the world's most valuable public companies, e.g., for greatly improved (CTC-LSTM-based) speech recognition on all Android phones, greatly improved machine translation through Google Translate and Facebook (over 4 billion LSTM-based translations per day), Apple's Siri and Quicktype on all iPhones, the answers of Amazon's Alexa, and numerous other applications. In 2011, his team was the first to win official computer vision contests through deep neural nets, with superhuman performance. In 2012, they had the first deep NN to win a medical imaging contest (on cancer detection). All of this attracted enormous interest from industry. His research group also established the fields of mathematically rigorous universal AI and recursive self-improvement in metalearning machines that learn to learn (since 1987). In 1990, he introduced unsupervised adversarial neural networks that fight each other in a minimax game to achieve artificial curiosity (GANs are a special case). In 1991, he introduced very deep learning through unsupervised pre-training, and neural fast weight programmers formally equivalent to what's now called linear Transformers. His formal theory of creativity & curiosity & fun explains art, science, music, and humor. He also generalized algorithmic information theory and the many-worlds theory of physics, and introduced the concept of Low-Complexity Art, the information age's extreme form of minimal art. He is recipient of numerous awards, author of over 350 peer-reviewed papers, and Chief Scientist of the company NNAISENSE, which aims at building the first practical general purpose AI. He is a frequent keynote speaker, and advising various governments on AI strategies.

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