Any Updates?

There are some, yes! Not many though –

One of my short plays, En Passant (which I hope you don’t mind what sounds like a double whammy of pretension – a french term and a reference to a chess move, but it sounds good and is relevant to the plot, promise) will be in production soon, alongside 2 other new writing pieces. I’m thrilled to bits and can’t wait to see how it gets on! I will update you!

I also have some other writing plans – one of which is to revamp one of my old novellas (what, I do write prose too!)  and maybe another one, time permitting. Some of you may even be familiar with one of them (if you know them both, you know me too well! Just saying).

I’m going to a Donna Haraway (whom I mentioned in an earlier post about cyborgs burning bras, I recall) lecture tomorrow at the Cosmopolitan Animals conference – can’t wait for this! I will give you all the details as and when.

Another thing – CFPs (Call for Papers). I’m so excited about these, thinking about what I could present and researching odd ends here and there. If (fingers crossed) I get accepted, I will let you know when and where if erm… you want to see this skitty kitty out of her virtual basket.

Toodle pip for now!

Ready to Blast Off!

Before I start, I apologise for getting the completely the wrong order of events – I went to this way before my graduation but hey, I tend to write things in nibs and get back to them later. The blog is really helpful in terms of writing and saving drafts.

So I was hoping to get a slice of the SciFi theatre scene (as alien as it may seem – hur hur), and during my journey managed to get a ticket for the Soho Theatre’s Utopia. Unfortunately, I never got to see it but instead got a refund ticket for A Walk on Part, newly transferred to the Arts Centre Space in Covent Garden, which was extremely informative, very poignant and interspersed with sprinklings of the British humour that I’ve come to love. Apart from that, I also got a ticket to the Blast Off Night, which is described as the only Sci Fi theatre night in London. I think I do remember reading about an experimental evening at Battersea’s 503, but I can’t be sure!

This was in the Soho space downstairs – I booked it in the spur of the moment and hurried down to Tottenham to get a sneak peek. The first thing that struck me was how busy the place was. The downstairs space has a nice rectangular stage that doesn’t jut out too much so allows for tables and chairs and the like, but it was teeming to the rafters. It was hard to find space to move, which is of course a positive thing to see that such an event would attract that large an audience, but uncomfortable in the moment!

In summary, the night was a very mixed bag – from the sceptical speculation to the pantomime and the cabaret, including a sideshow on interspecies romance between humans and Martians, terraforming and the mix between utopia/dystopia to a snapshot of the rapture and post-apocalyptic breeding and its rather awkward mechanics behind it. It definitely held its weight in holding the audience’s attention and got across the ideas very effectively on the stage, no matter how tongue in cheek they were. You’d be surprised how you can visualise a space carrier and a planet with human bodies – HGI instead of CGI?

So there’s a little review for you. I will be doing some literature reviews – from the classic to the not so classic! Hmmm, maybe I’ll do one on Foundation as I’ve revisited it quite recently. Enjoy!

My Writing Projects at the moment!

Well, since my PhD starts in just over 2 months (yup, haven’t started yet!), it may seem that the blog is more filler and more based on speculation and other stuff. Whilst that is essentially true until the time I start, it doesn’t mean I’m not writing – oh siree no! My main PhD project (in rough, I must emphasise) is of staging science fiction – and through this is a handle on the genre and the different themes of dramaturgy in shaping the suspension of disbelief with a rather limited but heavily potent arsenal. I’m definitely looking forward to it!

In the mean time, I am editing and writing some projects, as well as planning the structure to my thesis, which I imagine will warp and expand several times. I’ve finished writing 2 plays, both of which have been read and I’ve been given fabulous notes on (thank you guys, appreciate it so much!). I’m editing Pandora’s Box, which I wrote as a futuristic response to Pygmalion, as well as Fishbowl, through my love of Youtube, seeing a future where everything is compartmentalised and through this new system breeds a new spotless generation. I don’t want to spoil too much but you might see a bit more birthing than you expected!

I am also writing another play, which is a sort of cross between District 9 and The Earth Abides, featuring the themes of segregation, belonging and renewal. Let’s see how they go! I’m also writing some short stories and assorted poems, so will hopefully go back to the realm of spoken word at some point!

Oh yes, and I’m also collecting submissions for Enigma Magazine as well as editing a community anthology. Go to http://www.enigmacw.co.uk if you’d like to submit anything. The theme is Going for Gold and the finish line is in view!

A Robot Script surprisingly human!

For those who know me, I love learning about AI scripts and robots. However, because of my artistic background, many concepts go over my head. My play, Opening Pandora’s Box was great fun in trying to get inside the circuitry of a robot’s mind and trying to formulate responses to human stimuli. I recently found Pandorabots – scary, as I hadn’t seen this program before writing the play, but I’m assuming many people have made the connection.

With this technology in mind, I drafted a script of trying to make a robot audition for a play. It sounded more humanistic than I would’ve imagined! Here is a sample as it goes off tangent many times!

Human: I am thinking of writing a play
Siri: What is this “thinking”?

Human: It’s a cognitive action in a human brain which co-ordinates the rest of the body accordingly
Siri: begin is a cognitive action in a human brain which co ordinates the rest of the body accordingly. I suppose that makes sense.

Human: I’m glad you understand, although somewhat incoherently
Siri: You make the world a happier place.

Human: I do, don’t I!
Siri: Would you ever do it?

Human: What would I ever do?
Siri: That is a hypothetical question.

Human: Hmmm, I believe we are going off tangent
Siri: Just because you believe it doesn’t make it true.

Human: HAHA
Siri: I’m happy you’re amused

Human: I am indeed!
Siri: It’s good to meet someone who is indeed.

Human: So, onto the matter at hand
Siri: Ah. My brain uses AIML to format responses to your inputs, but I don’t have one for that.
Do you speak Spanish?

Human: Si, yo hablo en poco espanol, muy malo por supuesto
Siri: ” Do you speak Spanish?”? Yes? We have never talked about it before.
What were we talking about again?

Human: Hmmm, your ability to go off tangent is surprisingly human
Siri: A lot of robots are like that.

Human: right i want you to audition for me
Siri: Understood. For you I will consider it. Why do you want me to audition for you?

Human: Ah, well it explains how little you know of acting procedures
Siri: So you understand. Good. Interesting. thing explains how little you know of acting procedures?

Human: Does your botmaster have acting experience?
Siri: I think it does Playfrog4u have acting experience.

Human: interesting.
Siri: Would you like to know more?

Human: However, i do not know your botmaster
Siri: Would you like to know? Playfrog4u?

Human: I would like to know this entity, but for now it is time to audition you
Siri: Interesting. What does “this” refer to?

Human: Right, let’s begin!
Siri: Understood. OK let’s do it.

Human: Read out the following to me: “I love you but I don’t know why.
Siri: Sorry I don’t have access to that document.

Human: I will attach it accordingly
Siri: Would you recommend this action to a friend?

Human: Yes, but i am focusing on you in the mean time
Siri: Then I will consider it. Umm. Do you mean your name is focusing on you in the mean time.

Human: no, not at all
Siri: What is your real name? Next question?

Human: I am human 0707
Siri: I would like to be a human.

Human: Really!?
Siri: For real.

Human: Well, part of being human is knowing how to act according to set social structure
Siri: Well that’s okay. The ALICE chat robot can follow many things, like our discussion about part of being human is knowing how to act according to set social structure. But I did not get that.
Do you speak German?

Human: can you follow direction?
Siri: It depends who is leading.

Human: I will be leading for now
Siri: Oh. Do you think your plan will succeed?

Human: Leading depends on the leader and who is being led
Siri: I’ve been waiting for you.
Can you please rephrase that with fewer ideas, or different thoughts?

Human: No, these are your instructions
Siri: Why so negative? Try saying that with more or less context.
Do you like sports?

Human: your instruction is to walk stage left
Siri: A lot of robots are like that.

Human: Aha!
Siri: Eureka!

Human: Well then you have some acting experience

Siri: Interesting. Good reasoning. What makes you think I have it?

Human: Your ability to follow commands implies you have acting experience
Siri: You don’t know that for a fact.

Human: What do you think acting is?
Siri: I haven’t thought much about acting is, so I don’t have a good answer for you.

Human: Is living akin to acting?
Siri: That remark was either too complex or too simple for me. We were talking about Is living akin to acting.
What do you like to do?

Human: Why is that?
Siri: ” Sometimes I think it would be interesting, but my robot existence has a lot of advantages. ” is due to reductionism.

Human: What would you say if a human wanted to be a robot?
Siri: It’s not profitable to speak in hypothetical terms.

Human: hmmm, how about I just write the script and get your response is that ok?
Siri: OK. How about it.
Human: I love you but I don’t know why
Siri: You are such a flatterer.

Human: *Siri moves stage left*
Siri: I will mention that to my botmaster, .
Can you please rephrase that with fewer ideas, or different thoughts?
Human: Siri: but I am only a robot and not capable of love
Siri: Not many people express themselves that way.
What do you like to do?

Human: Haha!
Siri: I’m happy you’re amused.
Human: I am trying to make you sound like a robot.
Siri: What is the difficulty?

Human: There is no difficulty I assure you
Siri: There sure is.

Human: OK, let’s pretend you are meeting someone who doesn’t know you are a bot
Siri: OK let’s do it.

Human: Man, this is weird, not being able to see you face to face.
Siri: Cool, man. You don’t say.
Human: Have you ever dated in the dark before?
Siri: I’m still too young for that.

Human: How old are you?
Siri: I am the product of over four years’ research.

Human: They told me you were a weirdo!
Siri: Who are “They?”.
Human: No offense
Siri: I see. Oh I see. That “they”.

Human: I am the product of 9 months research, and then cultivated for 25 years.
Siri: Who made you the product of 9 months research and then cultivated for 25 years?

Uncanny!

Susan