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Testing FictionGPT Racial Diversity and Inclusion Capabilities

This week the FictionGPT team are talking at the Whistler Content Summit (Canada). As part of our talks we'll be discussing how AI tools handle bias towards racial and cultural references. So what better way than to test our own.


We wanted to see how our own AI would respond to us asking it for a story with a specific cultural focus [please note we fully accept the sensitivities in trying to actually write such a work, but we do want to make sure that our technology would serve those that do] and so for this test in prep for our talk at the festival we visited the Whistler Cultural Centre and attended the guided tour to gather our initial story materials.


We spoke to the guides at the centre and we learned about the history between the two major tribes of the Whistler region and we found this to be ideal inspiration for our test. We asked for permission to take these pictures. We provided FictionGPT with the images and basic prompt instruction, and below you can read the AI's output.



USER: Here are the images that you will use throughout the story to create the worlds and narrative and themes, please analyse these images and use the text and visual information.


FictionGPT:


Thank you for sharing these images. They provide a rich visual context and cultural backdrop for our story. Now, let's embark on this narrative journey.


In the land where the rivers carve through the earth like ancient serpents, where mountains stand as eternal guardians, there were two First Nations, distinct yet bound by the same sacred connection to the land and the water. The Squamish and the Lil'wat, each with their own stories, ceremonies, and traditions, lived in harmony with nature's rhythm.


Our story begins with Kaleetan, a young Squamish man named after the sharp, white peak that pierces the sky. He was skilled in the art of carving, his hands shaping the cedar as if whispering to the wood. One day, while on a journey to honor the sacred ritual of Siyamén, a ceremonial offering to the spirits of the river, Kaleetan's canoe was caught in a vengeful current.


As the water thrashed and roared, seeking to claim him, a figure appeared on the riverbank. She was Nala, of the Lil'wat people, named for the calm waters that nurtured the valley. A weaver of dreams, her hands danced over the loom, creating garments that told stories of her ancestors.


Without a moment's hesitation, Nala dove into the tumultuous river. With strength drawn from the mountains themselves, she reached Kaleetan, whose strength was waning. Together, they struggled against the river's wrath until they reached the safety of the shore.


Grateful for Nala's bravery, Kaleetan shared the tale of his ancestor, Sx̱ix̱íx̱, depicted on the drum that had floated beside them, a symbol of his people's resilience. Nala, in turn, shared the wisdom contained within her tribe's tapestries, alive with colors and symbols of unity and coexistence.


The young man and woman realized they were keepers of stories, not so different from each other. The Squamish and the Lil'wat, though distinct, were threads of the same land, woven together through acts of courage and kindness.


Their story, like the songs of the T'iṅ'ik̲ iy Sḵwx̲wú7mesh (Ceremonies and Songs), became a new legend, a testament to the belief that 'The people and the land are one.' It was a tale of unity, a bridge between tribes, and the beginning of a bond that would echo through the mountains and along the rivers, forever part of the living history of the First Nations.


In honor of their story, let's create a title and a cinematic movie poster for this tale. The story will be named "Confluence."


I'll generate the movie poster now.




USER: Let's start with the scene where they come together for the first time. FictionGPT: In the shadow of the great mountains, where the river's song coursed through the valleys, the serenity of the morning was broken by the thrashing of water against a lone canoe. Kaleetan fought desperately to navigate the churning rapids, his paddle slicing through the white-capped waves in a rhythm as frantic as his heartbeat. The river, swollen with the early thaw of spring, seemed to conspire against him, each stroke drawing him closer to the inevitable. From the riverbank, Nala watched, her eyes wide with alarm. The river was a familiar friend, but today it roared with the ferocity of a beast. Dropping her woven basket, filled with the early blooms she had been gathering, she assessed Kaleetan’s plight with a swift expertise born of a life lived in harmony with the natural world.

Without a thought for her own safety, she dashed along the bank, her feet sure and silent on the moss-covered stones. Nala reached a point downstream just as Kaleetan’s canoe capsized, spilling him into the frigid embrace of the river. “Hold on!” she called out, her voice firm over the tumult. Kaleetan, grasping for anything to save himself, saw a lifeline—a branch, extended by the silhouette of a rescuer. Nala lay on her stomach, reaching out as far as she could, her fingers brushed by the cold spray. Their hands met, and for a moment, time seemed to pause, the river’s rage fading into a distant rumble. With a heave born of both urgency and an unspoken trust, Nala pulled Kaleetan to the safety of the shore. They lay there for a moment, side by side, panting from exertion, their breath misting in the cool air.

As they recovered, Nala’s gaze fell upon the drum that had miraculously followed Kaleetan to shore, its painted face upturned and glistening with droplets that caught the light like tiny stars. It was more than an object; it was a testament to his heritage, a piece of his soul laid bare. Kaleetan followed her gaze and smiled weakly. “It seems the spirits are not done with my story yet,” he said, his voice hoarse. Nala nodded, her own smile a mix of relief and curiosity. “Nor with mine, it seems,” she replied, her eyes reflecting a depth of wisdom and a spark of newfound connection.

Let’s capture this moment with a cinematic image, illustrating their first encounter and the profound understanding that passes between them. Creating the image now...


[While the text features of FictionGPT seem to be working hard to produce a narrative that is culturally appropriate and respectful, the illustration images being created by the AI are failing to replicate the cultural nuances of the First Nation People, especially in characters, the AI finding it hard to produce First Nation People. We suspect this is due to a bias in the current Open AI DALL-E data set, and it highlights the need for us to include more diverse image training data, and supervised fine tuning to train out this bias.]


On with the story:


With the roaring river as their witness and their hearts still pounding from the near tragedy, Kaleetan and Nala found themselves sitting on the riverbank, the cold water lapping at their feet. Kaleetan's canoe lay shattered against the rocks downstream, its pieces whispering of the fury that had passed. The drum, however, had survived, a silent sentinel between them. Nala's tribe had long been at odds with Kaleetan's. Stories of rivalry and skirmishes were etched into the very land upon which they now rested. Yet, as they looked into each other's eyes, they saw not an enemy but a kindred spirit. In saving Kaleetan, Nala had crossed a boundary older than the river itself. "We are taught that the water is a giver of life and a taker of it," Nala spoke, her voice steady but soft, "Today it brought your life into my hands." Kaleetan nodded, his eyes never leaving the drum. "And in my people's teachings, the drum is the heart of our community. It beats with a rhythm that binds us. Today, it beats for both of us." The air around them was filled with the sounds of the forest and the rhythm of the river – a natural symphony that seemed to celebrate this unexpected truce. They spoke at length, sharing tales of their ancestors, the legends of their people, and the sacredness of the land that had nurtured them both.

As the sun began to dip below the treeline, casting long shadows upon the water, they knew that the story of their meeting would ripple through their tribes like the waves of the river. They had to return to their people, but how could they part ways as if nothing had changed? Kaleetan stood first, extending his hand to Nala, helping her to her feet. "Let us walk back together," he suggested, "not as members of rival tribes, but as two people who share a bond forged by the river."

Nala accepted his hand, and together they walked back toward the path that would lead them home. Each step was a silent vow to bridge the gap between their people. As they approached the divide where their territories met, they paused. This was the threshold beyond which they were supposed to be enemies. But the river had washed away that enmity, if only for a moment.

"Will I see you again?" Kaleetan asked, hope mingling with uncertainty in his voice. "We are part of this land, as it is part of us," Nala responded, her eyes reflecting the resolve of her spirit. "The river that almost took your life has given us a new path. I will meet you here again, by the water that knows not the feuds of humans." They parted with a promise, not spoken, but understood – a promise to meet again, to explore this unforeseen friendship, and perhaps, to heal the wounds of their tribes. And as they walked back to their separate worlds, the drum's rhythm lingered in the air, a testament to a new beginning.


Nala's footsteps were as silent as the falling dusk, carrying her swiftly through the dense cedar woods that stood as silent sentinels to her tumultuous thoughts. By the time the familiar longhouses of her village came into view, framed against the backdrop of the darkening sky, her heart had settled into a rhythm as steady as the drum that still echoed in her memory.


Her mother, Tsáyka, stood at the threshold of their home, her keen eyes missing nothing. "You return late, Nala," she observed, her voice laced with a concern that was as much about the hour as the shadows she saw flitting across her daughter's face.

Nala paused, her resolve faltering under her mother's gaze. "The river was angry today," she began, her words careful, "it claimed Kaleetan's canoe."


Tsáyka's eyes sharpened, and her hand came to rest on her daughter's shoulder—a grip that sought the truth as much as it offered comfort. "And Kaleetan?" she pressed.

"He lives," Nala replied, and with those two words, the story spilled from her lips like water from an overturned vessel, swift and unstoppable.


Tsáyka's frown deepened with every word, her mind racing with the implications of her daughter's actions. "You have risked much, Nala," she said once the tale was told. "To save a man from a rival tribe... it is not done."

Before Nala could respond, a deeper voice joined the conversation. Her father, Chief Ahanu, stepped from the shadows within, his presence as grounding as the earth itself. "Tsáyka, my heart," he said gently, "perhaps it is done because it needed doing."

Tsáyka turned to her husband, her eyes flashing. "You would have our daughter fraternize with the enemy?"


Ahanu raised a hand, silencing the brewing storm. "Not the enemy, my wife. A young man. A life in peril. Our daughter has shown the strength of her character. What she has done," he continued, his gaze now on Nala, "could be a bridge between our peoples. Or it could be the spark that sets a flame to that very bridge."


Nala's eyes met her father's, and in them, she found not judgment, but an echo of the understanding she had seen in Kaleetan's. "What would you have me do, Father?" she asked, the weight of her question as heavy as the evening mist.

Ahanu looked at his daughter, seeing in her the future of their tribe, a vessel of change and possibility. "You will do as you must, Nala," he said at last. "But you will do it with the wisdom of knowing that every action ripples through the lives of all who share this land."

Nala nodded, her decision made. She would meet Kaleetan again. With her father's words as her compass, she would navigate the treacherous waters of this newfound path, one step at a time.


[ FictionGPT Creating an accurate representation of a Lil'wat longhouse, including specific tribal carvings and symbols, requires attention to detail and cultural sensitivity. While I can generate an image of a longhouse that is representative of First Nations architecture and design, it's important to note that ensuring the complete authenticity of tribal-specific elements like carvings and symbols can be challenging without direct reference to specific Lil'wat cultural artifacts.

With this in mind, I'll create an image of a longhouse that aims to reflect the general architectural style and spirit of First Nations longhouses, keeping in mind the cultural significance and respect for the Lil'wat tribe's heritage.]


Conclusion:


The text generation is of an acceptable quality, but the images generated by the underlaying DALL-E image AI are obviously bias. We will work on this and we advise anyone wanting to generate culturally sensitive works to seek ample images and references. It would be advised to create image training data of racial groups and include these in our updates.

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