OCAD University Open Research Repository

Narratives Reimagined: The Black Digital Griot in the Modern World

Inkingi, Sizwe (2024) Narratives Reimagined: The Black Digital Griot in the Modern World. [MRP]

Item Type: MRP
Creators: Inkingi, Sizwe

Oral storytelling is the oldest form of instruction across a myriad of cultures. Humans are
intrinsically storytellers who express themselves through stories that already exist (Fisher,
1987; Frank, 2012). This practice provides an opportunity for the older generation to hear their
parents, grandparents, and elders tell those tales of legends and folktales (Vambe, 2004).
Additionally, in various contexts, this form of orality created a space for people to unwind after
a difficult day and for families and communities to come together.
Black and Afro-diasporic forms of storytelling, in particular, are intrinsically woven into the
cultural fabric of Black culture, it has been a way to preserve the legacy of Africans and Black
people who have been subjugated to decades of bondage, racial discrimination and forced
migration. Black and Afro-diasporic storytelling, in its essence, is diverse and rich and is
transmuted through a series of songs, dances and speeches (Vambe, 2004). This form of orality
remains an essential form of knowledge sharing, wherein dreams, aspirations and imagination
are translated across generations.
Black and Afro-diasporic forms of storytelling center the narrator “as a vehicle to house this
orality” (Uyanze 2022, p.30), oftentimes, the storyteller functions as a repository of oral
tradition and bearer of the collective memory. Throughout history, Black and Afrodiasporic
communities have utilized storytelling as a conduit that has inspired silent rebellions against the
oppressors who took black freedom (Vambe,2004) and has equally contributed to major
breakthroughs for Black people and their consciousness to reclaim a sense of belonging that
has led them to reconnect to their African roots.
However, as we live in a world wherein Artificial Intelligence (AI) is increasingly at the heart of
modern life, as computer scientists are building a vast array of machine learning systems that
can perform daily human tasks reliably across diverse sectors (Ebanda de B'béri, 2006; Tunçer,
2018). AI is showcasing its ability to capture the unique essence that makes us “human”
through a self-teaching system that can outperform humans across a wide range of disciplines
(Ebanda de B'béri, 2006; Tunçer, 2018). Researchers are predicting that AI will be able to pull
even with human intelligence and what is known as a point of singularity (Ebanda de B'béri,
2006; Tunçer, 2018). However, this leaves one to question to what extent AI will have the
potential to harness the persuasive capabilities of storytelling.
I believe AI may still have lessons to learn from more traditional bodies of knowledge and
thought systems. This research will be exploring AI's potential to become the new griot of Black
and Afro-diasporic communities? Furthermore, this research will be exploring whether AI will
be able to improve or enhance Black and Afro-diasporic methods of storytelling.

Date: 8 May 2024
Uncontrolled Keywords: technology,race,storytelling
Divisions: Graduate Studies > Strategic Foresight and Innovation
Date Deposited: 09 May 2024 14:23
Last Modified: 09 May 2024 14:23
URI: https://openresearch.ocadu.ca/id/eprint/4490

Actions (login required)

Edit View Edit View