College of Computing and Digital Media Dissertations

Date of Award

Spring 6-5-2024

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Fine Arts (MFA)


School of Design

First Advisor

Brian Schrank, PhD

Second Advisor

LeAnne Wagner, MFA

Third Advisor

Althea Delwiche, PhD


Machines of The Absurd is a collection of four projects exploring how generative AI can be leveraged for creativity, humor and playfulness.

1. neverOS — A node-based visual playground for interacting with large language models.

2. Other Calc — An iOS app with a calculator interface, where players can “calculate” text instead of numbers.

3. What Must Burn — An experiment where players type in text that can be dragged into a campfire to produce contextually appropriate sound effects.

4. Jazz vs Waffles — A turn-based comedy game, where players battle anything they type in.

Together, these projects make the case for generative AI as an invaluable tool for creativity, an eager improv comedy partner, and an exciting new frontier of play.



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