Temporarily Enslaved Gods features three sculptures in steel and silkscreen prints made with acrylic and electric paint. There is also a display positioned on the wall near the installation.
When the audience touches the surface of the prints, they hear the voices of three AI bots talking about data policies, digital monopolies, free information, fake news etc.
They look like they are talking to the audience, but in reality, they are having a conversation between them.
Each sculpture is connected to one of the bots. Normally, these AI machines learn to understand human language by being trained with huge examples of human to human conversations (interviews, movie scripts etc). A database with transcripts of the last five years of US Congress hearings and investigations involving Facebook, Amazon and Google was created and used to train the AI models. Every week a piece of code sends the text they have created to an online AI system called Watson, that in turns tries to create a personality profile for each one of the bots, assessing levels of openness, agreeability and emotionality as if they were real humans.
This is visualised in the display on the wall.
From a conceptual point of view, the work is inspired by the filter bubble and by how, AI powered systems, aimed at streamlining our online experience, might ultimately isolate each one of us in an intellectual bubble, where we only see a type of content that is specifically curated for us, based on our past preferences. This becomes quite an issue, when you consider the amount of fake news that are produced on-line, we might think we are absolutely free to chose the type off content we want to have access to, while in reality we are being digitally manipulated.
With this work I hope that those very same AI bots you can hear talk, might learn from the confessions of those digital giants and help us understand wether or not they have a hidden agenda.
Temporary Enslaved Gods was supported by a bursary from a-n The Artists Information Company.
And by the Italian Cultural Institute in Tel Aviv.