STARWEST 2019 Keynote : Storytelling in the Age of AI

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Thursday, October 3, 2019 - 4:15pm to 5:15pm

Storytelling in the Age of AI

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Around the world, citizens are actively engaging in civic tech, social robots are tweeting, and veteran storytellers are capturing and curating stories in new and dynamic ways using virtual and augmented reality. This explosion of tools, sources, voices, and data is indicative of a new, more collaborative era for storytelling. But is the public getting quality stories? Join award-winning storyteller and entrepreneur Davar Ardalan for a dynamic look at the intersection of emerging technology, transparency, and inclusivity in media. The founder and storyteller-in-chief of IVOW, a cultural storytelling startup powered by artificial intelligence, Davar believes that in order to best tell stories that reflect all of us, AI algorithms must be culturally sensitive and informed by a diverse, cross-sectional range of inputs and structured data. Come learn about the future of storytelling in AI and how we as software professionals can address the critical lack of quality and inclusive data.


Davar Ardalan is the founder and storyteller-in-chief of IVOW, a cultural storytelling startup powered by AI. In 2019, Ardalan also served as deputy director of the Presidential Innovation Fellows Program in Washington, DC.  Prior to this, she was a public broadcasting journalist for twenty-five years, mostly at NPR News, where she designed stories anchored in multiculturalism and steeped in historical context. In 2015, her last position at NPR was senior producer of the Identity and Culture Unit. Realizing that there is a gaping hole in AI algorithms that will define our future stories, she created IVOW, bringing together a team of journalists and technologists to create deeply inclusive stories. Ardalan, who has also served as managing editor at Hanson Robotics, has been recognized with the 2017 NASA Team Leadership award for Space Apps, a Gracie Award from the American Women in Radio and Television, and a shout-out in the popular comic strip Zippy. In May 2014, she was the recipient of a United States Ellis Island Medal of Honor for individual achievement and for promoting cultural unity.