“If you need help writing a story and are adverse to the mainstream plot-twists of Dramatica, you now have a zen-based alternative. At this past Siggraph in Los Angeles, Dr. Noako Tosa of Kyoto University presented i.plot, which she sees as part of “the future of narrative.” Enter a few words and i.plot will return a web of interlocking nodes, each filled with related words. A story is born. Users can see it in action .
To use i.plot, users enter several (3 or less is best) search terms. i.plot searches out the associations with these terms, using Edinburgh Associative Thesaurus, and then proceeds to map out a connection. The connections involve semantic webs of antonyms and synonyms, along with a path that runs through various interrelated words. The system is not as robust as Visual Thesaurus by Thinkmap, but its large idling balls have a bit more play to them. Incidentally Visual Thesaurus, which is now for-pay, offers pronunication, multiple languages, and spellchecking.
i.plot is a combination search engine and semantic web with a bit of I Ching-like possibility space thrown in. The work builds on a previous project, at Siggraph 2004, ZEN-etic, which offered an intercultural encounter with the allegorical tropes of Eastern philosophy. The new system, however, focusing on storytelling, offers unpredictable strings of association for your input that may require a bit of a zen attitude to appreciate its relevance…”