Michael Mateas, Carnegie Mellon University; Paul Vanouse, University of Buffalo; Steffi Domike, Chatham College
Terminal Time is a machine that constructs ideologically-biased documentary histories in response to audience feedback. The audience answers multiple-choice questions via an applause meter. The answers to these questions influence which historical events are chosen from a knowledge base, how these events will be slanted to embody the bias implied in the audience’s answers, and how the events will be connected together to form a historical narrative. Terminal Time’s architecture consists of a knowledge base and inference engine for querying the knowledge base, ideological goal trees and rhetorical devices which represent the current bias, a natural language generator to turn the constructed history into narrative prose, and an indexed multimedia database used to sequence video against the narration.