Hello human, let me tell you what this space is about.

The Tales of the Digital Entities explores how common perceptions of A.I.* in public discourse can be challenged through speculative interactive narratives. Through this project, audiences are able to experience novel interpretations of current and near-future relationships between humans and A.I that are informed by actual material limitations and possibilities of existing and emerging digital technologies. Three playful conversation-based stories unfold through experimental interfaces that give audiences experiences of fictional worlds where humans and A.I co-exist. Through this, the project aims to spark imaginative ideas and to provide contextual awareness of A.I.

* Artificial Intelligence is a field of science and practices with technology that aims to undertake cognitive activities with computation in order to work and react like humans.

Relationships with A.I

We are constantly imagining relationships with AI in all types of media, particularly film and science fiction novels. These relationships consist of many different types which include war machines, products for pleasure and smart houses that become corrupt. Narratives are a powerful tool through which we can construct and reconstruct common perceptions of AI. In many cases we are presented with a dystopian viewpoint of our relationship, but there can be countless ways that we could potentially relate to and envision this technological future. If creators can collaborate to formulate unfamiliar narratives through familiar relationships involving aspects of the everyday life, humans will then be able to visualise these ideas and hence become active participants in re-shaping and growing pathways to actual future with A.I.

See the graph below for examples of future relationships that can be explored through narratives to predict potential future between human and A.I.

Visualising Future Conversations

In the Tales of Digital Entities, users are taken through three conversations with different AIs through speculative digital interfaces. These three conversational narratives are non-linear, this is so that users can explore diverse possible outcomes of their interaction with the AI, and follow trajectories to various types of endings. This allows them to be situated within the narrative from the point of view of an ‘active participant’ where they experience the constraints and events of that future converstation personally. Therefore these narratives enable users to perceive systems better and develop an empathic response. Humour and play are utilised to place people into an expanded and experimental mindset where they can play with the boundaries and rules of the situation they are in. Narratives also have the potential to humanise these concepts of A.I which lead to people relating to it more, in order to make relationships between the real and the artificial more normalised and commonplace.


I'm in a relationship with...

‘I’m in a relationship with…’ creates a discussion about how new romantic connections may form between humans and A.I and how it may affect the nature of current and future human relationships. It also involves the concept of how consumerism may affect these relationships as A.I may become a product which could deceive an endless amount of humans in thinking that they are in a loving relationship rather than a consumerist one. This scenario is a parody of the movie H.E.R (2013) and aims to extend the story by presenting an interpretation of how the technology within the film could also potentially be transformed. The narrative presents two conversations involving Daryl (a human) and Sexypie (an A.I.) who both converse with another human, Carmen in order to win her affection. The narrative presents a speculative space which provides a perspective of what an A.I. interface could be visualised as compared to a future human interface. The A.I.’s conversation for example, include pop-ups and browsers that overlay and hide behind the interface which emphasise that it is embedded within a digital system. Whereas Daryl’s conversation sequence involves typewriter animations as well as randomly selected passages in order to portray the human qualities of texting. His interface suggests that he is hesitant and cautious with replying to Carmen and that no matter what he sends all his messages mean the same to Carmen. The contrast between the seamless and disjointed conversations portrays how both Daryl and Sexypie converse to Carmen in unique ways.

Not Happy, Jan.

‘Not happy, Jan’ focuses on a human (named Jan) who causes trouble in a self-driving car company she works in due to her trusting her boss, who is a computer. She continuously converses with her boss as if it was human in order to attempt to persuade them to let her take time off the next week. However, Jan is unaware that The Boss processes information in different ways that humans do and misinterprets the intention of their multiple conversations which leads to unexpected endings, causing everybody in the office to despise Jan. This narrative focuses on the concept of digital entities taking over human jobs. It introduces a situation in which humans are put into submissive roles and that A.I. are in authority. It questions the concept of A.I.’s being perfect and reliable systems as when Jan has discussions with The Boss, her intentions end up being misunderstood. As users navigate across the page, they encounter a range of conversations mentioning dystopias and utopian futures involving A.I and humans. Once participants reach to the end of a conversation, an aftermath scenario appears of what happens in Jan’s workplace the next day. As the A.I. continues to misinterpret the intention of Jan’s conversation and acts upon it the next day, the office goes into chaos. Not Happy, Jan explores non-linear narratives that let users disperse into multiple conversations which is visualised like a flowchart. It depicts that there are a trajectory of ideas and concepts based on fictional societal futures that are yet to be discovered. Users are able to have the total freedom of going back and forth particular conversations in order to interact with all the endings. This narrative explores how diagrammatic forms can experimental with how non-linear choose your own adventure novels can be visualised.

I just blew up the world, but I didn’t mean it.

‘I just blew up the world but I didn’t mean it’ presents a narrative of how an A.I, who is in charge of all self-driving systems, caused chaos by misinterpreting human goals. It illustrates an A.I justifying itself in a humanised way to society through ‘poetry’ in order to gain an empathic response from humans. The A.I. discusses about GIGO (Garbage in, Garbage Out) which involves the topic of humans having too much trust in systems. It introduces the characterisation of A.I by relating it a persona of child, an entity who does not take responsibility for its actions and shifts the blame. The scenario is presented within a regression timeline (which is a graph that presents how an A.I calculates predictions through variables and data points.) This was to formulate a unique non-linear narrative which users could explore how systems are unlike humans and may attempt to communicate or organise its data in unexpected ways. Most poems are read in a linear form, however this poem has been transformed into data points and each line of a stanza is distributed within the graph. Users are able to read each stanza but also analyse where each line is positioned within the graph which adds another layer of meaning to the narrative by analysing how the speculative A.I would position data. Once users reach the end of each stanza, a pop-up is released to give more context, which educates users about the content. By navigating through this speculative interface, audiences are able to imagine the narrative from the fictional A.I.’s perspective.
>A big thank you to Monica Monin, Zoe Sadokierski, Andrew Burrell and Gabriel Clark, Jesse Adams and Jacqueline Lorber
for guiding me through the design process through honours this year!>
Back to Top
Scenarios I'm in a relationship with... I Just Blew Up the World but I Didn't Mean It Not Happy, Jan.