The Next Web and Revolution to Storytelling: AI, Untold and Under-Represented Stories.

Dr David Dunkley Gyimah
5 min readJun 18, 2024


My father was a titan of a figure. I knew some of this, but that he was being courted to lead a political after Ghana’s independence or figured as a major CEO, was new to me.

He was a policeman looking for a career in the UK. That career would not continue, so he and his friends retrained and became students at the likes of the London School of Economics.

The photo captures him (below far left) and four friends. They would be the first wave of scholarship applicants to leave the Gold Coast in the 1950s, just before it became Ghana in 1957.

As a journalist turned academic, the more I’ve learned about his life since he passed away, and that of other Africans, I know it is worthy of a story that in effect is representative of many others. Several of you, and notable figures on Social Media, agreed. But there’s been a major snag.

I’ve covered many global stories in my journalism career (BBC Newsnight, WTN etc), particularly across Africa. In South Africa as freelancer for the BBC Africa and World Service and ABC Associate Producer I was a producer for Danny Glover and covered the first all-race elections.

I produced and directed international pioneering co-productions between South Africa and Ghana The United States of Africa (deemed historically important by FIAT/ IFTA). I made features for Channel 4 News and and have gone onto win international awards.

But how would I tell this and a series of stories I’d put journalistic and academic research into when there was scant info, media and archive?

In Africa, before any of the countries became independent, there were several barriers. In Francophile Africa it was the Laval Decree that prohibited Africans from filmmaking. in Anglophile Africa it was pecuniary.

The Future Web

The answer to the aforementioned problem bizarrely was Generative AI (GAI). Its impact by the day continues to stun and rightly raise concerns. The founder of the web Sir Tim Berners Lee has voiced his concern about the next web stating its current direction impales humanity and the web’s purposeful function.

It’s been overtaken by self-interest groups in the last decade and “Leadership, hindered by a lack of diversity, has steered away from a tool for public good and one that is instead subject to capitalist forces resulting in monopolisation”.

Gen AI has mainly been used in fictional stories when applied to visual narratives, but what about non-fiction? And with our propensity for personalised stories evidenced in podcasts, based on research and the head winds, the next web is going to be transformative.

But there will be a choice between a contracted self-interest web and one that Sir Tim sees as addressing diverse stories. I’m going to be sharing this dichotomy at a major conference in Manchester next month

Using a series of research techniques e.g digital ethnography and archival retrieval, stories can be created from the past using a critically developed approach of cognitive recall (which tests the quality of memory) and triangulated residual orality. I also delineate concerns from working in AI since 2016.

This is all harnessed into the use of GAI and used to recreate scenes, events and digital twins for situating characters in researched scenarios.

It’s a more realistic use of media than artistic illustrations used in BBC documentary, Commando: Britain’s Ocean Warriors (2022), and Netflix’s Battle of the Baddest (2024).

Here I am back in Ghana last year approaching a neighbour in the town my siblings and I were sent to from the UK in the late 70s, and the former president of Ghana who’s taken an interest in revived stories across the continent.

Dr Gyimah in Asokore, Ghana; with the former President of Ghana John Kufuor; President George Bush with President Kufuor

Interest from industry is growing with Channel 4 Board of Directors and the British Screen form inviting me to present some existing work. It would be called “terrific” and “absolutely fascinating”.

At storytellers + Machines I’ll be showing these pieces of work

The Ghanaian: Chairman

Story of my father representative of many in the 1950s from Africa.

South Africa re-visions 1993

A night time drive with Peace Monitors in one of the most dangerous townships back then is visualised through GAI. The radio story went out on the BBC African Service.

Empowered — an ode to dreamers

Influenced by a real story, this mixed media piece of cinema is in the clip capturing attention on Social Media.

Media Hypenates

A global journal on interdisciplinary practices bridging global students with MAs and innovative developments ( more here).

Royal Television Society (RTS) juror Dr David Dunkley Gyimah with BBC News Presenter at the RTS. David is writing about innovation in storytelling in which he interviewed Clive. For more and to contact David go here or click on

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Dr David Dunkley Gyimah

Creative Technologist & Associate Professor. International Award Winner Cinema journalist. Ex BBC/C4News. Apple profiled Top Writer,