Dartmouth College Neukom Institute Turing Tests in Creativity


The Neukom Institute for Computational Science at Dartmouth College is pleased to announce the first annual Neukom Institute Prizes in Computational Arts. These competitions aim to inspire innovations in computational methods that generate artistic products, such as literary, musical, and visual art.

In the 2015-2016 academic year, the Neukom Institute will run three different competitions:




The "DigiLit" prize competition encourages the creation of algorithms able to produce a "human-level" short story of the kind that might be intended for a short story collection produced in a well-regarded MfA program or a piece for The New Yorker. The Prize seeks to reward algorithms that could, for example, write stories for a creative writing class in which students are asked to submit a new short story each day.


  1. A contemporary computer should be able to run the code and generate a story within 24 hours using less than 8G of RAM.
  2. The algorithm/software should respond to a noun or noun phrase “prompt” (e.g., “hat”, “car keys”, “wedding”, “sorrow”, “violin case”) and be capable of producing an effectively unlimited number of original short stories.
  3. Submissions must include source code, and programs must be capable of generating distinct short stories with high probability.


  1. The DigiLit Short Story Turing Test: After an initial screening, the top entrants will have their stories mixed in with a collection of human generated stories. To keep with the spirit of a Turing Test, the computer-generated stories that are included will be generated by two noun prompts per algorithm and not pre-screened before inclusion. Two collections of mixed human- and computer-generated stories will be read separately by two panels, each with three judges. The judges will be asked to rate the stories as either human- or computer-generated. If a computer-generated story is scored as human by a majority of the judges on its panel, the creators will win a $5000 prize. At most one prize will be awarded to any competitor.
  2. The DigiLit Short Story Competition: A first prize of $3000 will be awarded to the team that enters the “best” short story generating software. Two second prizes of $1000 will be given to the runner-ups. Computer-generated submissions are judged against each other according to criteria used by professional short story writers (e.g., instructions given to judges of the "Best American Short Stories" collection). Judging criteria will also include an evaluation of the submitted algorithm and code.
  3. Winners will be announced in April, 2016. Details TBA.

Note: Contestants might be interested in the lessons and resources gathered by the NaNoGenMo 2014 event


Judges: Will be announced in September - stay tuned!

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The Turing Tests in Creativity are a project of The Neukom Institute for Computational Science at Dartmouth College.
For more information contact turingtests@math.dartmouth.edu.