(Storyteller Agent Generation Environment)
Motivation Use new technologies to re-create old tradition of giving comfort by telling and listening to stories. In the oral traditions, inspirational stories were told by the elder sages in order to give indirect advice and communicate a moral. Stories can help us to construct a sense of self.
Strategy Design and implementation of SAGE (Storytelling Agent Generation Environment), a construction kit for children to design interactive wise storytellers to have conversations with. The storytellers are embedded in a soft interface: a programmable interactive stuffed rabbit.
Goal Support children's exploration of identity and communication issues, as well as take advantage of children's knowledge about storytelling to introduce them to the world of technology, and vice versa.
Storytellers created by fifth-graders Irene, the French grandmother who tells La Fontaine's fables in French and her pet Powl, the Owl; Mother Nature; Shaquille O'Neil ; Spot, the dog ; Waloompa, the alien; The Big Orange Fox ; Doug, the cartoon character; Mr. Smith, the writer; Tera Randof.
Storytellers created by adults Rabbi Grois and his bunny assistant Arnav; Master Chuan-Tzu, the Taoist sage
- Bers, M & Cassell, J."Interactive Storytelling Systems for children: using technology to explore language and identity." Journal of Interactive Learning Research, volume 9 (2), AACE.
- Bers, M & Ackermann, E.; Cassell, J.; Donegan, B.; Gonzalez-Heydrich,\
J.; DeMaso, D.; Strohecker, C.; Lualdi, S.; Bromley, D.; Karlin, J."Interactive Storytelling Environments: Coping with Cardiac Illness at Boston's Children's Hospital" Published in CHI'98 Proceedings, ACM, pp 603-609.
- Bers, M & Cassell, J."Storytelling Systems: Constructing the Innerface of the Interface."Cognitive Technologies Procedings '97, IEEE, pp.98-108.
- Umaschi Bers, M. "Soft Interfaces for Interactive Storytelling: Learning about Identity and Communication" MIT Media Laboratory Master's Thesis 1997. ( abstract in html format). Unpublished thesis available upon request.
- Umaschi, M. "Soft Toys with Computer Hearts: Building Personal Storytelling Environments" Published in CHI'97 Proceedings, ACM, pp. 20-21
- Umaschi, M. SAGE Storytellers: Learning about Identity, Language and Technology. Published in Proceedings of ICLS '96 , AACE, pp.526-531.
- Umaschi, M. Rabbi: exploring the inner world through stories. Published in AAAI 96 Proceedings, Student Abstracts, Volume II, MIT Press, pp. 1413.