Collaborative Storytelling with Human Actors and AI narrators
Large language models can be used for collaborative storytelling. In this work we report on using GPT-3 to co-narrate stories. The AI system must track plot progression and character arcs while the human actors perform scenes. This event report details how a novel conversational agent was employed as a creative partner with a team of professional improvisers to explore long-form spontaneous story narration in front of a live public audience. We introduced novel constraints on our language model to produce longer narrative text and tested the model in rehearsals with a team of professional improvisers. We then field tested the model with two live performances for public audiences as part of a live theatre festival in Europe. We surveyed audience members after each performance as well as performers to evaluate how well the AI performed in its role as narrator. Audiences and performers responded positively to AI narration and indicated preference for AI narration over AI characters within a scene. Performers also responded positively to AI narration and expressed enthusiasm for the creative and meaningful novel narrative directions introduced to the scenes. Our findings support improvisational theatre as a useful test-bed to explore how different language models can collaborate with humans in a variety of social contexts.