Designing a Generative Pictographic Language

  • Haytham NawarEmail author
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 10919)


The ability to express our thoughts is a very powerful tool in our society. Being able to write is more difficult than being able to read, and this is especially for the Alphabetical languages/scripts. From personal experience, being able to write in Latin/Arabic/Chinese is a lot more difficult than just being able to read them and requires a greater understanding of the language.

We now have machines that can help us accurately classify images and read handwritten characters. However, for machines to gain a deeper understanding of the content they are processing, they will also need to be able to generate such content. The next natural step is to have machines draw simple pictures of what they are thinking about, and develop an ability to express themselves. Seeing how machines produce drawings may also provide us with some insights into their learning process.

In this project/paper, a machine will be trained to learn pictographic scripts by exposing it to a database of selected ancient and modern pictographic scripts. The machine learns by trying to form invariant patterns of the shapes and strokes that it sees, rather than recording exactly what it sees into memory, a simulation of how our brains operate. Afterwards, using its neural connections, the machine attempts to write/construct something out, stroke-by-stroke. A technique that could be applied and used on different platforms, opening the door for a language or means of communication for the future.


Generative data Generative design Pictographic scripts Writing systems Artificial intelligence Visual communication 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of the ArtsThe American University in CairoCairoEgypt

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