AI Cli-Fi Short Stories

The goal of this assignment, and one of the key goals of the course, is to draw on the science of climate change and imagine what the future might be like, depending on how greenhouse gasses human beings continue to emit. For this assignment you will be contributing to the new website: AICliFi.com that will be a resource for Cli-Fi stories available to anyone!

First carefully read Our Final Warning by Mark Lynas. Identify conditions Lynas describes in the future where you would like to set a short story or stories. You can create short stories at different global temperatures, or create them all at the same temperature but have the characters, setting, and action differ substantially.

Next, start playing with ChatGPT, and/or another generative AI program that will write stories. By varying your prompts and interacting with the program you want to develop 5 short stories that you find interesting.

You might experiment with point of view, first person, third person, omniscient narrator, multiple narrators, etc. Are the characters, plot, and setting interesting? Dialogue is a dimension of many (not all) stories - can you work with ChatGPT to use dialogue to give insight into characters, create suspense, convey action, etc?

Does the story capture and reveal dimensions of how human society and perhaps the natural environment will be impacted by global heating? Are there certain elements of that impact that you want to see if you can get ChatGPT to include?

Next, further develop your favorite story. By targeting your prompts around first and later drafts you can get your story to more closely connect with the science, become longer and more complex, explore specific aspects, reach different conclusions, even create multiple "choose your own adventure" ending.

At this stage you may want, but are not required, to take what ChatGPT produces and work it over yourself.  In your own word processor make changes that improve the story and create the final product you are after.

Your best story is going to be included on the AICliFi.com website. Go to an AI program that generates images and create and image that could go along with your story. You might look at Canva, Creator.nightcafe.studio, Craiyon, Dall-E, AI Art Generator, Dezgop, or other AI image programs. Experiment until you have an image you like and that fits the story.

Finally, write two or more pages of analysis of the stories you generated. How did they differ? Why did you like some better than others? What did you learn about writing with AI? Write about working with AI, and also write about what experimenting with short stories using AI helped you learn beyond the basic science about possible climate futures that might actually happen, depending on human action to expand, continue, reduce, or end greenhouse gas emissions?

Email to me, at the latest by 10 am Monday, in one or two Word document(s):

A) Your favorite short story (or stories) that you want published on the site. Each story to be published needs to have: 

1) The degree of warming that the story is set at; 

2) The image that goes with the story; 

3) A title; 

4) A one sentence description of the content of the story that can be used on the index page to let readers know what your story is about and interest them in reading it - make the story sound appealing;

5) The story itself; and,

6) A short 2-4 sentence description of how you made the story on ChatGPT, prompts and/or suggestions. (This last description will be published at the end of your story.)

B) Your analysis of the stories, process, and what you learned about AI and about the possible climate futures as described above (at least 1-2 pages).

C) Lastly, the other 4 stories you generated. Give them titles too so I can tell them apart.

Created by: allen.webb@wmich.edu
Revised Date: 1/24