The Lives of Literary Characters

The goal of this project is to generate knowledge about the behaviour of literary characters at large scale and make this data openly available to the public. Characters are the scaffolding of great storytelling. This Zooniverse project will allow us to crowdsource data to train AI models to better understand who characters are and what they do within diverse narrative worlds to answer one very big question: why do human beings tell stories?

Today we are going live on Zooinverse with our Citizen Science (crowdsourcing) project, The Lives of Literary Characters. The goal of the project is offer micro-tasks that allow volunteers to annotate literary passages that help annotate training data. It will be interesting to see if we get a decent number of volunteers.

Before setting this up we did some serious reading around the ethics of crowdsourcing as we didn’t want to just exploit readers.