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Testing AI 30 March 2023

I tested OpenAI’s GPT for prefix prompts for ‘Ask AI’ in Reader.



The sample document was the ACM paper where I first selected the introduction paragraph, then the words ‘Fabula’ and finally ‘Hypertext’.

Games/Hypertext by my advisor David E. Millard.

“The relationship between hypertext research and games design is not clear, despite the striking similarity between literary hyper- texts and narrative games. This matters as different communities are now exploring hypertext, interactive fiction, electronic litera- ture, and narrative games from different perspectives – but lack a common critical vocabulary or shared body of work with which they can communicate. In this paper I attempt to deconstruct the relationship between literary hypertext and narrative games. I do this through two lenses. Firstly, by looking at Hypertext as Games; with a specific set of mechanics based around textual lexia and link-following (but with a tradition of exploring alternative Strange Hypertext approaches) resulting in a dynamic of exploration and puzzle solving depending on whether agency is expressed at the level of Syuzhet or Fabula. Secondly, by looking at Games as Hy- pertexts; that depend heavily on textual content, use guard fields, patterns, and sculptural hypertext models to manage agency, that experiment with aporia and epiphany, and that take place within a wider interlinked transmedia experience. This analysis reveals that Narrative Games are both more and less than Hypertext, with a wider set of mechanics and interfaces, but possessed of a core hypertextuality and situated within a greater hypertext context. This suggests that there is much value to be gained from interac- tions between the communities invested in interactive narrative, and significant potential in the cross-pollination of ideas.”



The prompts I used were the ones we will design as prefix for Reader:

• ‘Explain in simpler language’
• ‘What is this’
• ‘Show me more examples’
• ‘Show me counter examples’
• ‘What does this relate to’
• ‘Is this correct?’
• ‘Explain the concept of’
• ‘Create a timeline of this’
• ‘Discuss the causes and effects of this’



While it is clear that the results are impressive and useful, it is equally clear that they are not complete. For example the timeline prompt lacks several notable highlights so the design should be to help readers think, not do the work for them.

Prompt: Explain in simpler language

The connection between the study of hypertext and the design of video games isn’t very clear, even though there are similarities between hypertext in literature and storytelling in games. This is a problem because people who study hypertext, electronic literature, interactive fiction, and narrative games are all looking at it from different angles, but they don’t have a common language or shared knowledge to communicate with each other.

In this paper, the author tries to explain the connection between hypertext and games by looking at it in two ways: 1) hypertext as games, where the mechanics of the game are based on following links and exploring text, and 2) games as hypertexts, where the game is like a hypertext with different paths and choices.

The author finds that narrative games are both similar and different from hypertext. They have more mechanics and interfaces, but they are still part of the hypertext world. The author suggests that people who study hypertext and people who design games can learn from each other and come up with new ideas.

Prompt: What is this: Fabula

In literary theory, “fabula” refers to the underlying chronological sequence of events in a story or narrative. It is the basic structure or plot of a story, including the cause-and-effect relationships between events. Fabula is often contrasted with “syuzhet,” which refers to the way the story is presented or ordered in the narrative, such as through flashbacks or non-linear storytelling techniques. Together, fabula and syuzhet create the overall narrative experience.

Prompt: Show me more examples: Fabula

Here are a few examples of fabula in popular literature:

  1. The fabula of “The Lord of the Rings” by J.R.R. Tolkien involves Frodo’s quest to destroy the One Ring, aided by the Fellowship of the Ring, against the backdrop of a war between good and evil in Middle Earth.
  2. In the fabula of “Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone” by J.K. Rowling, Harry discovers that he is a wizard and attends Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, where he learns about magic, makes friends, and ultimately faces off against Voldemort, the dark wizard who killed his parents.
  3. The fabula of “Pride and Prejudice” by Jane Austen revolves around Elizabeth Bennet’s romantic journey, including her initial dislike of Mr. Darcy, their eventual understanding and love for each other, and the obstacles they face along the way, such as the disapproval of Elizabeth’s family and social norms of the time.

Overall, fabula refers to the basic narrative structure or plot of a story, and it can encompass various elements, such as character journeys, conflicts, and themes.

Prompt: Show me counter examples: Fabula

While fabula is a common concept in storytelling, not all narratives follow a straightforward chronological plot. Here are some counter-examples where fabula may not be as easily discerned:

  1. In the postmodern novel “House of Leaves” by Mark Z. Danielewski, the story is told through multiple layers of narration, footnotes, and different fonts and formats. The narrative structure is intentionally fragmented and nonlinear, making it difficult to discern a clear fabula.
  2. The film “Memento” by Christopher Nolan tells the story of a man with short-term memory loss trying to solve the mystery of his wife’s murder. The story is told in reverse chronological order, with each scene leading to the previous one. As a result, the fabula is not immediately apparent and is revealed gradually as the story unfolds.
  3. The TV series “Lost” follows a group of survivors of a plane crash stranded on a mysterious island. The narrative structure is nonlinear, featuring flashbacks and flash-forwards that reveal the characters’ backstories and future events. The fabula is not easily discernible due to the complex structure of the show.

Overall, while fabula is a useful concept in analyzing narratives, it is not always present or easily discernible in every story, particularly those that employ nonlinear or experimental narrative structures.

Prompt: What does this relate to: Fabula

Fabula is a concept that relates to the structure and plot of a narrative. It is often used in literary theory and analysis to describe the chronological sequence of events that make up a story. Understanding the fabula of a narrative is important for analyzing and interpreting its meaning, themes, and character development. By examining the fabula, readers and analysts can better understand how the story is structured and how its events relate to one another.

Prompt: Is this correct? Nelson coined the term Hypertext

Yes, that is correct. The term “hypertext” was coined by Ted Nelson in the 1960s, and he is widely credited with inventing the concept of hypertext. Nelson envisioned hypertext as a non-linear system of interconnected text, which would allow users to navigate through information in a way that was more flexible and intuitive than traditional linear text. His work on hypertext and related concepts such as “hypermedia” and “transclusion” laid the foundation for the development of the World Wide Web and modern digital information systems.

Prompt: Explain the concept of: Hypertext

Hypertext is a type of electronic text that contains hyperlinks, which are clickable links that connect one part of a document to another or link to other documents or resources on the internet. Hypertext allows users to navigate through information in a non-linear way, following links and jumping to different parts of the text as desired, rather than reading through the information in a fixed linear order.

The term “hypertext” was coined by Ted Nelson in the 1960s, and his vision of hypertext as a non-linear system of interconnected text inspired the development of the World Wide Web and modern digital information systems. Hypertext has revolutionized the way we access and navigate information, making it more flexible, dynamic, and user-friendly.

Hypertext can be used for a variety of purposes, such as creating interactive digital documents, designing educational materials, or building complex websites. By allowing users to navigate through information in a non-linear way, hypertext enables greater interactivity, engagement, and flexibility, making it an essential tool for modern digital communication and information management.

Prompt: Create a timeline of this: hypertext

Here is a brief timeline of the history of hypertext:

  • 1945: Vannevar Bush publishes his seminal article “As We May Think” in The Atlantic Monthly, in which he describes a theoretical device called the Memex, which could be used to store and access information through a system of links and trails.
  • 1960s: Ted Nelson coins the term “hypertext” and begins developing the Xanadu system, which would allow users to create and share non-linear documents with links and embedded media.
  • 1980s: Douglas Engelbart, a pioneer in the field of human-computer interaction, develops the first hypertext system called NLS/Augment.
  • 1987: The first version of HyperCard, a popular hypertext authoring tool, is released for the Apple Macintosh computer.
  • 1989: Tim Berners-Lee invents the World Wide Web, which uses hypertext and hyperlinks to connect documents on the internet.
  • 1990s: Hypertext becomes a fundamental feature of the internet, enabling the creation of websites, online documents, and multimedia content.
  • 2000s: The development of web standards and technologies such as HTML, CSS, and JavaScript enables the creation of more sophisticated and dynamic hypertext-based applications and interfaces.
  • Today: Hypertext continues to evolve and play a central role in digital communication and information management, with new developments such as semantic web technologies and the use of hypertext in social media and mobile applications.

Prompt: Discuss the causes and effects of this: Hypertext

Causes: Hypertext was developed as a response to the limitations of traditional linear text, which made it difficult to navigate and organize large amounts of information. The emergence of hypertext was enabled by advances in computer technology, which made it possible to store and access information electronically and to create interactive digital documents with hyperlinks and multimedia elements.

Another cause of the development of hypertext was the need to support collaborative work and knowledge sharing across distributed networks. Hypertext systems such as Xanadu and the World Wide Web were designed to facilitate the sharing and linking of information across different locations and contexts, enabling users to collaborate and exchange knowledge in new ways.

Effects: The development of hypertext has had a profound impact on the way we create, share, and access information. Some of the key effects of hypertext include:

  1. Non-linear navigation: Hypertext has enabled users to navigate through information in a non-linear way, following links and jumping to different parts of the text as desired. This has made it easier to access and organize large amounts of information and has made digital documents more interactive and engaging.
  2. Democratization of information: The use of hypertext has enabled anyone with access to the internet to create and share information, regardless of their technical or creative skills. This has democratized access to knowledge and has empowered individuals and communities to share their perspectives and ideas.
  3. New modes of communication: Hypertext has enabled new forms of communication and collaboration, such as online discussion forums, wikis, and social media platforms. These tools have enabled people to connect and share information across vast distances and have facilitated the emergence of new forms of community and identity.
  4. Challenges to authority: The use of hypertext has also challenged traditional sources of authority and expertise, such as traditional media outlets and academic institutions. By enabling anyone to create and share information, hypertext has disrupted traditional power structures and has given rise to new forms of knowledge production and dissemination.

Overall, the development of hypertext has had a profound impact on the way we create, share, and access information, and has enabled new forms of communication and collaboration that were previously impossible.