AI Fan Along

Digital Creativity Labs is collaborating with BAFTA award-winning digital agency, Joi Polloi, on an exciting new project that uses AI to extend the story world of children’s TV shows beyond the screen.

The AI Fan Along project is focused on developing a meta-story chat tool to allow children to safely engage with characters from their favourite TV show through voice-assisted smart devices such as Amazon Alexa or Google Home.

When an episode of a TV show ends, children will be encouraged to speak to the characters, to reflect on their take on events, and to participate with suggestions and predictions for the next episode.

In providing an opportunity to safely cultivate a bond with the characters, and to convey their ideas and opinions, the project aims to help children aged between 9 - 14 to develop social skills including understanding emotion, cooperation and negotiating conflict.

DC Labs is providing research and expertise in AI including critical guidance on the ethics and safeguarding of the AI technology.

The team is investigating voice cloning technology, voice customisation, narrative design and emerging AI technology to extend the storytelling engagement. 

Researchers are also investigating the feasibility of training an AI for impromptu unscripted dialogue, and providing guidance on automatic speech recognition (ASR) systems.

With a prototype tool nearing completion, Joi Polloi is exploring options for using content from a children’s television show to extend research and development on the project.

The project has also led to an exciting engagement with the BBC, with DC Labs’ Dr Jenn Chubb invited to speak at the BBC’s Voice + AI department.