With technology advancing seemingly by the second, we are but inches away from a world where something like reading a bedtime story to a child can be fueled by digital design. In an ambitious attempt to “explore the links between imagination and computation”, London-based designer David Benqué has developed a prototype for what he calls The Infinite Adventure Machine, a computer program that aims to “automatically generate fairy tale plots”.

At this stage, the program can only prompt the user with basic sentences like “protagonist falls victim to influence of magical agent” and images to base their dictated story upon, which Benqué believes encourages improvisation and imagination in order to “make up for the technology’s shortcomings”. The project draws inspiration from Vladimir Propp, who developed a formula reducing the structure of Russian folk tales to a series of 31 basic functions.

It’s a pretty incredible thought that there could exist an endless supply of folklore one day in the near future. However, with the invention in its current state, the technology seems to be encouraging imagination, rather than disabling it. We especially like the notion of the father and daughter being able to share in this experience – it leaves us feeling hopeful for the technology of the future in its power in reconnecting and reestablishing the idea of connectivity, both with the online network, and with each other.

The program is being commissioned by Microsoft Research, Microsoft Office, and the Design Interactions at the Royal College of Art in London as a part of the Future of Writing Project.