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Scealextric Simulator

Struggling writers are sometimes tempted to throw away their current effort and start over with a a blank page and a fresh approach. But the cost of yielding to this temptation is high, especially when one has already sunk a great deal of time and energy into a work that must be discarded. However, as computational creativity increases the speed and lowers the cost of narrative generation, the option of a fresh do-over becomes ever more attractive. So with the Scealextric Simulator consider a simulation-based approach to the generation of episodic stories in which stories are generated, evaluated and frequently discarded in a rapid, coarse-grained cycle of engagement and reflection. The goal of simulation is to better exploit the situated possibilities for information transfer amongst the characters in a story, while the goal of repeated simulation is to find the story that achieves maximal coherence amongst its episodic parts.

Metaphor Magnet

Metaphor Magnet is an online software application that allows you to explore the space of affective conceptual metaphors. The Metaphor Magnet application can also be used as a service by other NLP applications, returning XML documents to the client. Details of this XML functionality are provided at the end of this page.

Thesaurus Rex

Thesaurus Rex organizes words according to the fine-grained ad-hoc categories they are placed into by speakers in everyday language. But Thesaurus Rex is more than a distributional thesaurus.  Enter a word and you can see the many different categories it is placed into, but enter an ad-hoc category of your own design, such as mythical monster or bland food, and see which concepts can be recruited for your category.

Metaphor Eyes

Metaphor is a fundamentally knowledge-hungry phenomenon. We need to possess knowledge about a topic (that which is described in a metaphor) and a vehicle (that which does the describing) before we can meaningfully describe one in terms of the other. Where does a computer acquire this conventional knowledge? From conventional language, which is abundant on the World Wide Web.

Idiom Savant

You can find a colorful description for almost anything in the texts of the world-wide-web. Of course, you can also find a great deal of nonsense and irrelevance too.Idiom Savant is a linguistic magnet for finding the sharpest needles in the haystacks of the internet. Enter a term of interest, such as priest or politician or critic or movie and Idiom Savant will show you two lists of resonant descriptions, divided acording to the perceived affect of the words employed: one list for positive descriptions, and another for negative descriptions. A sensible measure of pragmatic comparability (not just semantic similarity) is used to find the most comparable terms for your input, and to show you the positive and negative descriptions pertaining to those other terms also. For instance, enter the term critic and you will find apt descriptions for judge and monster also.

Jigsaw Bard

The Jigsaw Bard is an online application that allows you to find resonant phrases for a large range of simple properties, like quiet, or for an even larger range of complex blended properties, like quiet and calm. The Bard has already scoured vast amounts of web text to identify phrases that have a resonant quality, and has automatically indexed these phrases on the properties they most poetically suggest. Most phrases are found art in this respect -- they are well-formed fragments of English that the Bard thinks have both a poetic quality and a useful communicative function. But some phrases (shown in blue) have been directly composed by the Bard itself. Have a look and see what you think of the Bard’s compositional abilities.

The Lex-Ecologist

Ecologists study the natural environment of plants and animals. Our plants and animals are words and concepts, and our environments are large text corpora. The Lex-Ecologist allows you to explore the rich textual environment for words provided by the text of the on-line encyclopaedia Wikipedia. Observe the behaviour of concepts in this environment: observe what they do, what is done to them, what they act upon, and how they congregrate into groups.

Dorian: Analogical Portraiture

Dorian is a knowledge-base that explores this multiplicity of categorization when dealing with proper-named entities. Dorian’s knowledge-base of proper-named entities is harvested from the Google n-grams, and associates entities with the categories that speakers most commonly attribute to them. Dorian’s knowledge-base is supplemented by the category-system in Wikipedia, which adopts a less subjective, curated approach to categorization.

Aristotle: An Interactive Metaphor Finder

Let Aristotle help you find appropriate metaphors to describe a given person or thing. Simply enter the target for your metaphor (called the tenor in metaphor research), choose a property you would like to accentuate, and Aristotle will select a range of possible vehicles to carry this meaning. Click on any of these vehicles to understand the full import of the metaphor you are about to use.


Sardonicus is a simile-finder that knows the exemplary properties of different objects in the real world. It has acquired this knowledge by sifting the contents of the web in search of meaningful comparisons. It knows that ninjas are stealthy and that bowling balls are heavy and smooth enough to be called bald. It also has a healthy sense of irony, so it knows that roller-coasters are not exactly a model of consistency, and that turtles are not generally prized for their speed. The similes in Sardonicus are divided into straight-faced "factual" similes and tongue-in-cheek "ironic" similes, and are organized hierarchically using a taxonomy of adjectives.  Try it now, it might put an ironic smile on your face.


Different languages tend to represent different cultural and conceptual perspectives on the world. To the originating culture, such lexicalized perspectives may seem entirely conventional and stale, but to another they may well provide fresh and even innovative insights into the meaning and creative uses of words. DimSum aims to mine these insights from the lexical structure of Chinese, a logomorphemic language that exhibits its semantic structure quite openly in its orthographic realization.

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