AI: When a robot writes a play

Fri 26. 02. 2021 20:00 The event takes place online

Czech House Jerusalem together with Prague’s Švanda Theatre and theaitre.com present an innovate project entitled ‘AI: When a Robot Writes a Play’ created by a team of computer scientists and drama experts led by a computational linguist.

The play, telling a story of joy and sorrow of everyday life from a robot’s point of view, is composed of dialogues generated by artificial intelligence to celebrate 100th anniversary of the premiere of Czech playwright Karel Čapek’s play R.U.Rin which the word ‘robot’ was first used.

The 60-minute play will be performed in Czech with English subtitles and followed by a debate with artificial intelligence and theatre experts which will seek to answer the question of whether a robot can write a theatre play and thus pass the most difficult Turing test to date. The debate will be translated into English for international audiences. 

The event will be streamed live on the facebook page Czech House Jerusalem and on the website www.theaitre.com

DirectorDaniel Hrbek

Cast: Jacob Erftemeijer, Denisa Barešová, Andrea Buršová, Petr Buchta, Oskar Hes/Marek Frňka, Tomáš Petřík  

ABOUT THE PROJECT

Tomáš Studeník, Czech radical innovator, came up with the idea to celebrate the centenary of the premiere of Čapek's play, originally staged in Prague in January 1921, by replacing Čapek by artificial intelligence as the playwright. “The project was created in cooperation with the Švanda Theater, the Faculty of Mathematics and Physics of the Charles University and the Theatre Faculty of the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague. The aim has been to explore how artificial intelligence actually performs in a human creative discipline and how much it is able to create a usable theatrical script. I was skeptical at first, but I was even more curious about what might be generated by the computer,” says Daniel Hrbek, director of the Švanda Theater, who is also directing the production. 

A computer under the supervision of a team of computer scientists led by a computational linguist Rudolf Rosa from Charles University in Prague, has been generating script dialogues since May 2020 about the life of the main character – a robot facing everyday joy and suffering. “We will see how the robot understands basic human issues such as birth, dying, search for love, but also work during the COVID-19 crisis,” reveals Hrbek. The result is a set of dialogues that were arranged by drama experts to tell a story of a robot’s journey through human society. This may resemble a futuristic version of the Little Prince.  


Partners of the project

THEaiTRE, TA CR (The project TL03000348 THEaiTRE: Artificial Intelligence as the author of the play is co-financed with the state support of the Technology Agency of the Czech Republic within the ÉTA Program 3), Faculty of Mathematics and Physics, Institute of Formal and Applied Linguistics, CEE Hacks, Prg.ai, DAMU, The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic, Czech Centers, Prague, Prague 5 (The theatre is a stage of the capital city of Prague and is supported by the Municipality of Prague 5).  

Information summary

  • Event title: AI: When a robot writes a play
  • Date: Fri 26. 02. 2021
  • Time: 20:00
  • Address: The event takes place online

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