STORYTELLERS + MACHINES︎ 2024
Storytellers + Machines

2024




2-4 JULY 2024, SCHOOL OF DIGITAL ARTS, MANCHESTER METROPOLITAN UNIVERSITY


SODA, Manchester Met Uni

STORYTELLERS + MACHINES 2024


Following on from the series symposium in June 2023,  Storytellers + Machines 2024 will be a two-day conference shaping debate on AI narrative, art and media at the School of Digital Arts (SODA) at Manchester Metropolitan University in the UK. The theme of the conference is “Controlling the Narrative: agency, interaction and influence in creative AI”.

Storytellers+Machines 2024 is a transdisciplinary conference that champions the contributions of artists, creative practitioners and technologists, alongside other voices from academia, industry and cultural sectors in the lively and contested creative AI space. 

The open call for submissions to the conference is now open.

>> Extended deadline: 15 March 2024.

New: ticket prices for conference announced

Submit 300-word paper, artwork or performance proposal




THIS YEAR’S THEME:

CONTROLLING THE NARRATIVE: AGENCY, INTERACTION AND INFLUENCE IN GENERATIVE AI STORYTELLING AND ART



The theme for this year’s conference asks presenters to submit 300-work proposals for papers, artworks and performances related to three overarching topics for discussion:

  1. AGENCY
  2. INTERACTION
  3. INFLUENCE

Presenters will have the opportunity to submit their work for consideration in an edited collection of essays, case studies and interviews on creative AI. 


THEME 1

AGENCY


AI generative systems are possibly the first tools depicted as having their own creative agency. Yet, the philosophical distinctions between creators and their tools, audiences and their media are often blurred.

What kind of agency do audiences, authors and developers have when using generative and AI tools? Should we think in terms of control at all in these relationships and instead consider notions of collaboration, borderless synthesis of human and machine or something else? 


THEME 2

INTERACTION


New forms of interaction and immersion for audiences are being invented through generative and AI controlled narratives, artworks and experiences. What are the emerging creative systems, aesthetics and relationships between audience and producers of these forms?  


THEME 3

INFLUENCE


The influence that algorithmic systems exert on society, communities and identities, for example through algorithmic bias and corporate ownership, is increasingly well understood and documented in the media, academia and the software industry.

What are the socio-cultural and economic implications of such these influences on artistic and creative media producers and their audiences? And are there emerging strategies and tools that can be used to avoid, mitigate or otherwise challenge types of harmful influence and bias, particularly as they pertain to our narratives and media?




WHAT ARE WE LOOKING FOR?



Paper presentations, presented artworks and demonstrations that:

  • Explore new forms of interaction and audience experience in generative and AI-based narratives and artworks - interaction theme
  • Provide creative and technical case studies and frameworks relevant to generative and AI-based narratives and artworks - interaction or control them
  • Critically examine new generative AI narratives and artworks to provide insights into an emerging field of cultural production - control them.
  • Investigate the social, economic, ethical and legal implications of AI-based narratives and artworks - influence theme.
  • Promote new strategies and approaches to producing trustworthy AI in the context of creative works and their audiences - influence theme.
  • Relate to the impact on marginalised communities and identities of AI and generative technology and the narratives it produces, both for creator and audiences - influence theme.




FORMAT & GUIDANCE

SUBMISSIONS



You may submit:

  • Paper presentations
  • Technical demonstrations
  • Presented artworks and performances. 

You can submit up to two applications. 

Submissions will be selected based on quality, innovation and relevance to the theme. 

Where there are practical constraints, such as with artworks, we will also consider the practicality of proposals. Where an original proposal cannot be supported our curatorial team may be in touch for further discussion on alternate presentation format that better suits the conference and our resources. 

1. FIFTEEN-MINUTE PRESENTATIONS


You are invited to submit an abstract of your proposed presentation, limited to a maximum of 300 words. 

Papers and presentations are suitable for both academics and creative practitioners. If you are an academic you might be more familiar with presenting a paper and if you are a practitioner you might be more accustomed to presenting your work in a talk.

Your abstract should offer an engaging summary of your work, findings and conclusions and discuss their potential implications as related to the theme and aims of the conference.

For further guidance, papers and presentations may emphasise the following key aspects: 


  • Objectives or central research question(s) 
  • Any theoretical models or frameworks employed 
  • Description of any data used 
  • Presentation of key findings 
  • Conclusions and implications
  • Next steps and suggestions for future research and practice 


We recommend using Microsoft PowerPoint for your presentation, limiting it to a maximum of 8 slides, and adhering to a 15-minute presentation time. You will be required to send your presentation in advance of the conference. 

Following the conference, you will have the opportunity to submit a full paper on your presentation topic of between 4,000 to 6,000 words to be considered via peer review for a solicited edited collection.

2. PRESENTED ARTWORKS & PERFORMANCE SHOWCASES

You may submit:

  • Paper presentations
  • Technical demonstrations
  • Presented artworks and performances.  

You can submit up to two applications.  

Submissions will be selected based on quality, innovation and relevance to the theme. 

Where there are practical constraints, such as with artworks, we will also consider the practicality of proposals. Where an original proposal cannot be supported our curatorial team may be in touch for further discussion on alternate presentation format that better suits the conference and our resources.

3. TECHNICAL AND INDUSTRY DEMONSTRATIONS AND LIGHTNING TALKS


We are also inviting proposals for practical demonstrations showcasing new works, tools, and technologies. Demonstrators will have the opportunity to submit a description of their idea, limited to a maximum of 300 words. 
The description should encompass:

  • An overview of the proposed demonstration with details of any anticipated audience interactions
  • Any technical requirements necessary for the demonstration (that you cannot provide yourself)
The key implications of the demonstration for researchers, practitioners and digital arts audiences
During the conference, each demonstration will consist of a concise lightning talk, not exceeding 5 minutes, followed by a technical demonstration lasting no more than 10 minutes. 




UNDER REPRESENTED VOICES


The Storytellers + Machines organising team and everyone at Manchester Metropolitan University are committed to equality, diversity and inclusion.

We promote submissions and attendance from all interested presenters, artists and attendees, irrespective of background, belief or identity. In particular, we strongly encourage, and offer practical support, where possible, to applications from groups which are underrepresented in the field. 

We are keen to feature presenters producing relevant creative work and research outside of academia, both as independent practitioners and those in industry.

Practical measures include:


  • Discounted tickets for a selection of low-income, independent practitioner and student attendees
  • Some application support and guidance for first-time conference submissions
  • Giving equal value to artist, industry and academic submissions when considering the work you submit 

Please indicate in your application if you require access to any of these measures in order to take part, or get in touch via email.




CONTACT

GET IN TOUCH



If you have any questions related to the proposal, please contact the team at aistorytellers@mmu.ac.uk 



Tickets


The conference will include a networking and viewing event on 2nd July, two days of keynotes and panel discussion on 3-4 July and an AI performance event on evening of 3rd July featuring in dance, music and other AI related works. Food and refreshments provided throughout the three days.
 
Early Bird Rate - Academic and Industry (before 15 May 2024)£169.00
Standard Rate - Academic & Industry) Full Rate (2 days)£199.00
SME discounted Rate£99.00
Independent Artist discounted rate£49.00
Subsidised - Post Graduate (core conference only)£49.00
Subsidised - Unwaged£25.00

Full details and ticketing to follow.