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Telescope

November 2019 | By Sandpit

Take a fictional character for a walk in the real world.

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Telescope is an experimental app which allows you to take a character you are creating ‘out for a walk’ in the real world, generating new ideas as you move. Using a Google Docs Add-on, the writer briefly describes their character. As they walk, a mobile app synthesizes maps data from where they are, objects they are walking past - recognised by the phone’s camera, and other data to seed a GPT-2 Machine Learning language model. The app then begins a sort of ‘stream of consciousness’ audio - using text-to-speech - which combines the character’s qualities with inspiration from the writer’s immediate surroundings. The results can be poignant, banal, topical and are frequently highly amusing. At any point the writer can bookmark snippets which can be revisited later. Developed by Sandpit in collaboration with Google’s Creative Lab in Sydney.

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