Zev Battad

PhD Student
Cognitive Science Department
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

Email: battaz@rpi.edu

Phone: (203) 848-8912

Advisor: Dr. Mei Si

I began my graduate studies at RPI in the Fall of 2015. My research is focused on using AI storytelling agents to construct narratives about large, online information networks, so as to facilitate discovery and to make such datasets more interesting, memorable, and tractable for an audience to consume. Before my graduate studies, I completed a Dual B.S. in Computer Science and Computer & Systems Engineering at RPI.

Research Interests
   Intelligent Virtual Agents
    Interactive Narrative & Storytelling
    AI Storytelling and Big Data

Research Projects
Cognitive Historian (current)
In work done in the Cognitive and Immersive Systems Lab (CISL) at RPI, a virtual agent capable of generating and presenting narratives from data in large, online information networks was created. Specifically, the dataset used was a subset of Wikipedia about the history of the Roman Empire. Spatio-temporal data was used to enhance the visualization of the narrative, and sonification in the form of text-to-speech, generative ambient music, and a reactive soundscape were used to create an immersive, multi-modal storytelling experience. 

The Mandarin Project 
The Mandarin Project at RPI explored different ways of assisting Mandarin language learners through the user of interactive digital media. One of these directions was through AI storytelling. A system was developed to tell bi-lingual (Mandarin and English) stories from a dataset about people, places, events, and concepts related to the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games. The system had both English and Chinese text and text-to-speech modes of interaction, and could successfully generate stories from the dataset driven by narrative techniques.

Battad, Z., Si, M., Using Multiple Storylines for Presenting Large Information Networks. In: Proceedings of the 16th International Conference on Intelligent Virtual Agents (in revision).