History of Expressive Systems

A workshop series and online resource (coming soon) on the history of expressive systems.

By 'expressive systems', we mean computer systems (or predigital procedural methods) that were developed with expressive or creative aims. This is meant to be broad and to include work in areas called creative AI, expressive AI, videogame AI, computational creativity, interactive storytelling, computational narrative, computer music, computer poetry, generative art, and more.

Our goal is to illuminate and celebrate the history of systems in this area — to uncover the untold histories of projects that are today forgotten or relatively unknown, and to compile easily accessible information on important systems and milestones.

We are motivated in part by the renewed interest in expressive creation by computers that has been driven by recent advances in machine learning, which are exciting but often lack historical perspective. This is not any given researcher's fault, because documentation on historical work in the area is often poor. Most historical overviews of expressive systems in the literature today are confined to short blurbs in related-works sections, and these brief histories are often at best incomplete. We hope to change that, and bring past and present of expressive systems work into closer intellectual exchange.

A project of Mark Nelson and James Ryan.