Programme 2017

Meet up for a few creative drinks …

Meet us in the north east corner of the Praza do Obradoiro, at 8.00pm. We’ll walk to a nearby bar, and discuss the day’s proceedings.

Praza do Obradoiro, Santiago de Compostela, A Coruña, Spain

Workshop Venue

School of Engineering of the University of Santiago de Compostela (ETSE), Room A4

Online Proceedings

Workshop proceedings are available online, through the ACL Anthology:


14:30–16:30 Session 1
14:30–14:40 Short introduction
14:40–15:30 A Feast for the Senses in 140 Characters or Less (Invited Talk)
Tony Veale
15:30–16:00 O Poeta Artificial 2.0: Increasing Meaningfulness in a Poetry Generation Twitter bot
Hugo Gonçalo Oliveira
16:00–16:30 Template-Free Construction of Poems with Thematic Cohesion and Enjambment
Pablo Gervás
16:30–17:00 Coffee break

17:00–19:00 Session 2

17:00–17:30 Poet’s Little Helper: A methodology for computer-based poetry generation. A case study for the Basque language
Aitzol Astigarraga, José María Martínez-Otzeta, Igor Rodriguez, Basilio Sierra and Elena Lazkano
17:30–17:50 If then or else: Who for whom about what in which
Manuel Portela and Ana Marques Da Silva
17:50–18:10 Constructing narrative using a generative model and continuous action policies
Emmanouil Theofanis Chourdakis and Joshua Reiss
18:10–18:40 Synthetic Literature: Writing Science Fiction in a Co-Creative Process
Enrique Manjavacas, Folgert Karsdorp, Ben Burtenshaw and Mike Kestemont
18:40 Close

Invited Presentation

A Feast for the Senses in 140 Characters or Less
Making Generation More Personal, Affective and Perceptually Grounded

By Tony Veale, School of Computer Science, University College Dublin, Ireland.

Shakespeare wrote that a rose by any other name would smell just as sweet, but would this alternate name be just as effective as a metaphor? Perhaps, though any figurative uses would surely depend on the exact makeup of the new name. Were we to instead refer to a rose as a “goreweed,” a “prickbleed,” a “bloodwort” or a “turdblossom” we would surely have to find new metaphorical uses for this familiar flower. Our metaphors do more than evoke lexical semantics in the mind of a reader, and the very best can tap into our memories and perceptual faculties to create a feast for the senses, one that is as rich in colour, texture and aroma as it is in semantic meaning. So when we bend our machines to the interpretation and generation of novel metaphors, we must ensure they are as adept with the multi-modal connotations of words as they are with their denotative semantics. In this work I explore the mutual grounding of linguistic metaphors in non-linguistic multi-modal stimuli – such as colours and abstract generative art – and vice versa: I show how non-representational visual stimuli can serve to bind together the various elements of a complex linguistic metaphor, to squeeze more meaning and connotation from the words than an utterance alone can manage. In each case these elements are further grounded in the social and the personal, insofar as the machine-crafted metaphors are generated to reflect the real-time behavioral traits of real people – the metaphor’s intended audience – on social media. I demonstrate the various strands of this work using real Twitter “bots” such as @MetaphorMagnet, @BestOfBotWorlds and @BotOnBotAction. These bots are autonomous AI systems that are designed to interact with real people on Twitter and to showcase the applicability of machine-generated (but human-targeted and human-centered) metaphors in social media. I aim to show how they can offer an ideal vehicle for exploring the related themes of symbolic grounding, affective meaning and multi-modal creativity in language generation.