Citizen Capital Has Produced The First Educational Book for Children Co-written By AI

April 26, 2018


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Citizen Capital today announces the launch of its AI themed children’s book, Emma on Atlantic. The book was co-written by AI, to provide young readers with a concrete example of STEM in action.

Citizen Capital is a non-profit that incubates innovative technologies with the potential to transform politics and education. The company differentiates itself by releasing open-source, copyright-free materials to the public, in aim to create a world of transparent and accessible civic-engagement.

Emma on Atlantic is about a young girl’s day out in Brooklyn with her parents. The book is an experiment in “augmented creativity”, and demonstrates that in the same way machines can augment physical labor, intelligent machines have the power to support creative works, as well.

To create the first draft, Citizen Capital trained the AI on basic grammar and cadence on the mechanics of writing using a corpus of 10,000 children’s books. Despite lacking some structure and logical sense, the AI produced a draft with working grammar, and a winding, dream-like narrative, which resonated with a child’s perspective. The team at Citizen Capital stayed true to this tone as they layered the story.

To illustrate the book, pictures of Brooklyn were taken and added to an algorithm trained on children’s book illustrations – called “Neural Style.” This was able to style the photos into final book illustrations.

The global educational technology market is expected to grow to $40.9 billion by 2022, and a large part of this increase is due to AI developments. AI algorithms and machine learning are transforming education by collecting, analyzing and correlating every interaction that takes place in the physical and virtual classroom.

However, teaching students about AI and its creative potential is an aspect of STEM learning that is often overlooked. With the launch of this AI co-written book, Citizen Capital aims to provide not only a resource for STEM education, but to introduce children into the digital process of how AI can be used for creative projects.

“AI has the ability to reveal information about the creative process to us in a way that would be impossible without it,” said Philip Bjerknes, founder of Citizen Capital. “I, for one, am very interested to see what AI can tell us about art, and I challenge readers to create their own experiments as well.”


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