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Accepted Paper:

Siri Survivor: AI-driven Storytelling and Future-Proofing Solutions  
Sylvia Martin (The University of Hong Kong)

Paper short abstract:

This paper examines convergences between industry and institutional sectors that develop interactive storytelling systems. Exploring the role of the US state in spinning out survivor narratives across immersive technologies challenges the attendant discourse of solutions.

Paper long abstract:

Storytelling serves a myriad of purposes, including the sharing of memory and the potential for immortality. This paper examines the convergence between industry and institutional sectors that develop and deploy innovative story systems, and some of its implications. It is based on research conducted within what I refer to as the military-industrial-imagineering complex centered in southern California that brings together the Department of Defense, Hollywood entertainment, and educational sectors. The paper explores how interactive stories are produced and applied, focusing on the role of the state in order to comprehend the iterative processes that I contend propel US empire. I trace how stories of genocide survivorship are spun out across immersive technologies, akin to what media scholar Henry Jenkins refers to as transmedia storytelling, with a focus on the virtualization of genocide survivors into hologram-like projections powered by natural language processing for interactive educational purposes. With stories of survivorship becoming what producers call “future-proofed” and deployed across civilian and military sectors, this paper analyzes the accompanying – and speculative – discourse of solutions. In considering storytelling as a mechanism of social control, preserving some narratives over others, this paper attempts to sketch a relationship between storycraft and statecraft.

Panel P11b
Immersed in the Story: Narrating about and with New Technologies
  Session 1 Tuesday 7 June, 2022, -