Public Radio International Features Andrew Gordon’s Heider Simmel Storytelling Research

Published: June 5, 2014
Category: News

The Public Radio International series, “The Really Big Questions” featured Andrew Gordon’s artificial intelligence research, which is training computers to recognize and tell stories, in an episode about storytelling. Gordon spoke about his Navy-funded project, the Heider-Simmel Interactive Theater.
In 1944, Fritz Heider and Marianne Simmel created an animated film that depicted the motion of two triangles and a circle as they moved in and around a box that alternated between being opened and closed. Heider and Simmel asked people to describe what they saw in what is now considered a classic work in the field of social psychology. The subjects responded with creative narratives that ascribed human-like goals, plans, beliefs and emotions to the moving objects. Gordon’s Heider-Simmel Interactive Theater is a Web-based application that allows people to make their own movies and write their own stories.
Gordon’s work is also featured on the program website and his interview can be found at approximately 19 minutes into the audio hour.
Learn more about Gordon’s research here.