Shakesbot: AI and the Bard

Over the next few months, the Rumble Museum at Cheney will be continuing its Future Season, with a range of talks, events and workshops all exploring the future from different angles and in different subject areas.
On Tuesday 7th January, Year Eight Classics students took part in an exciting new game, which has formed from the collaboration between a local games studio, To Play For, and the University of Oxford’s English Department. Students were first introduced to the concept of machine learning and language, before being able to play an online game where they were able to interact with characters from two of Shakespeare’s most well known plays.
First students were able to ask questions of Macbeth and the three witches. They found that asking shorter questions was the best way to get answers from the character. The second game involved a group conversation with characters from Rome and Juliet. The group enjoyed trying to confuse the characters and change their responses, and while playing the game, they were able to offer very helpful feedback to the creators of the game.
We are very grateful to Dr Abigail Williams and her wider team for running these workshops. They will also be at the Iris Festival of the Future on 25th March where visitors will be able to have a go at speaking to some characters from Shakespeare!

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