STORY

 
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STARTING POINT

During the experience, four states are passed through, each of which result from the stances "approval", "rejection", "euphoria" and "fear" that are associated with artificial intelligence in today's scientific and social debate.
"Approval" comes from the benefit and comfort that virtual assistants can provide in supporting daily routines. "Rejection" results from the data collection based on user behavior patterns, criticized in terms of data protection. Alternatively, "euphoria" arises from the prospect of human and cognitive enhancement through AI in the course of the Singularity. “Fear” relates to the loss of control through the autonomous strengthening of AI.

 

SOURCES

These four stances are derived from statements by James Vlahos (founder of HereAfter AI), Barbara Wimmer (journalist focusing on data protection and network policy), Ray Kurzweil (director of engineering at Google), and Nick Bostrom (philosopher at the University of Oxford), among others. Both the natural sciences and socio-economics inform the general debate surrounding current and future developments of AI. It shows how ambivalently humanity responds to technological achievements with unforeseeable and emotionally charged consequences.

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STORY LINES

In the narrative, the assistant first enables the viewer to configure a virtual space. The parameters of the configuration are binary – such as "large" and "small" for room size, "rounded" and "angular" for shapes, "bright" and "dimmed" for light values – which reflects the system of binary code in computer science. 

Thereafter, the assistant takes control by manipulating the viewer into revising previously made decisions. This development represents "intelligent systems" that claim to “know you better than you know yourself“ based on collected user data. 

In the third spatial state, the assistant empowers the viewer by enabling them to control larger-than-life spheres in an endless space. The transfer of power is meant to enhance the viewers capabilities in a supernatural way. This ability is then retracted by enclosing the viewer in the interior of the spheres. It leads ultimately from the assistant‘s conclusion that the easiest way to spare people pain is by preventing their birth or at least restricting their liberty of movement.


The way in which the four spatial states are linked is variable. Depending on the decisions made in one individual state, the viewer may travel along a different path. As a result, up to five different story lines can be experienced.

 
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