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Technology to Cast a Scientific Lens on Storytelling

In the future, technology will cast a scientific lens on storytelling. Good storytelling won’t be done merely by honing an intuitive art. David Pescovitz, the storyteller and ponderer of things to come, predicts that pervasive data collection will change all that.

“Not only are people starting to tell their own stories, but things are starting to tell their own stories. And we have to be able to deal with all that information coming at us,” said Pescovitz.

For example, research engineers at UC Berkeley are at the forefront of developing technology that independently communicates data collected from an array of sources.  One such development is “Smart Dust”, which are tiny sensors with wireless radios attached that can collect high resolution data about the world- data that can be used to inform stories that we tell.

“Soon we’ll have plants tweeting out that they need water, and buildings sending out text messages about their structural soundness, “ said Pescovitz.

Pescovitz, co-editor and managing partner of BoingBoing, is good at navigating the future. In a media world that’s constantly shifting, he’s managed to create one of the most popular weblogs on the Internet. And as research director at the Institute for the Future, a non-profit think tank in Palo Alto, he filters tech “hypes” from the trends that are likely to have a long-lasting impact.

Another scientifically-driven change he foresees is that storytellers and advertisers are increasingly going to leverage the knowledge about the brain to tell stories that will emotionally move people. There’s lots of examples of this already. A Stanford study concluded that marketing campaigns that focus more on the experience of a product than the possession of a product are much more successful.

Pescovitz shared several other observation during a keynote to KDMC’s Multimedia Storytelling Institute. To learn more about his views of the future on storytelling, click here to see the video of his presentation: