ImprovBot is brought to you by a small but playful team.
ImprovBot is led by Melissa Terras, Professor of Digital Cultural Heritage at the University of Edinburgh’s College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences (CAHSS). Melissa leads digital aspects of CAHSS research as Director of the Edinburgh Centre for Data, Culture and Society (the University of Edinburgh’s provider of digital research support to those in the Arts, Humanities and Social Science), Research Director of the Edinburgh Futures Institute (a new investment in data-rich education, research and engagement activity that supports the navigation of complex futures at the University of Edinburgh), and Co-Director of Creative Informatics (the ambitious research and development programme based in Edinburgh, which aims to bring the city’s world-class creative industries and tech sector together). For the past twenty years she has worked in the research field of Digital Humanities, using computational techniques to enable research in the arts, humanities, and wider cultural heritage and information environment that would otherwise be impossible. She is a Fellow of the Alan Turing Institute, a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals, and a Trustee of the National Library of Scotland. You can generally find her on Twitter.
The Bot is trained by Gavin Inglis, a creative technologist and writer for interactive media. Gavin studied AI at the University of Edinburgh before pursuing a diverse career in game design, public relations, technical infrastructure and music journalism. He performed at the Fringe in 1994 and 2009.
His work appears in fitness app Zombies, Run!, web cult favourite Fallen London, and tabletop RPG Call of Cthulhu. He publishes interactive novels with California studio Choice of Games.
Gavin was Language and Cognition Fellow for the Department for Clinical Neuroscience at the Western General Hospital. During this residency he produced a graphic novel about functional neurological disorder, a spoken word performance synchronised to the release of smells, and AI versions of Jane Austen and H.P. Lovecraft.
He teaches creative writing at the Centre for Open Learning, and runs specialist sessions on writing games and interactive fiction for anybody from local developers to a European teachers’ consortium. He is @gavininglis on Twitter.
Rudolf Ammann is an independent scholar, designer and visual artist in London, UK. A serial collaborator with Melissa, he contributed the illustrations to this project, built out the website, and is quite unreasonably boastful of having dreamed up the project’s brand identity from the odd combination of a Victorian typeface and a baby-faced cartoon robot with funny ears.