On Writing Machines

Presented by Mark Rickerby
Tuesday noon–12:25 p.m. in Guthrie Theatre CB06.03.28
Target audience: N/A


From the earliest days of computing, people have tried to devise programs to generate comprehensible and authentic creative writing. From the weird chaos of spam email, to infinite story games, art bots and entire novels generated from code, the core problem in developing writing machines is how to generate surprising and expressive texts that are different each time the program runs. We’ll explore the emerging field of generative writing through a unique conceptual framework that draws on contrasting—and sometimes contradictory—insights and patterns from computational linguistics, game design and traditional literature.

Presented by

Mark Rickerby

Mark Rickerby is a Sydney-based designer, writer and programmer, with a creative practice spanning software architecture, data visualisation and storytelling. By day, he works as Head of Product at Digivizer, leading a team developing analytics interfaces and systems for data-driven marketing. By night, he works on projects and tools that blend speculative fiction with computational creativity. As someone with very limited time, he’s a big fan of participating in time-limited creative events—especially those with an emphasis on generative methods such as #NaNoGenMo, #procjam and #7DRL.