Archiving the Internet
In 1950 Alan Turing developed a test to see if machines had the ability to exhibit intelligent behaviour indistinguishable from that of a human. Stranger is typing… becomes the documentation of a modern day Turing test exploring Google’s artificial intelligence software Cleverbot and its ability to pass as a human over virtual chat. This AI machine learns from holding conversations with other users. By referring back to previously collected data, Cleverbot is able to hold relatively normal conversations with strangers. Yet, when ‘speaking’ to itself in a stream of conciseness, the break in the typical human thought processes, and repetitiveness in conversation topics is more prevalent.
Curating internet personalities
The characters featured in the book- Lukas, Jennifer, Ryan, Jake and Sophie were all personas adopted by the machine for the span of their sections. All conversational data, linguistic errors included, was generated by Cleverbot and unknown users found in the chatroom Omegle.
Stylistically the pink lines connect all the questions the bot asks- answering a question or statement by posing a question is a huge indication one is talking to a bot and not a human. The purple lines connect the conversation topics that are frequently repeated indicating that each ‘character’- especially when left to talk to themselves- have the same trains of thought.
Language, Sound, Text, and Noise
A workshop by Yvan Martinez
"LSTN collaborates with art and design institutions to engage students in the direct creation of culture, whether oral, visual, written or performed. The impetus is to develop and document a significant body of knowledge on social dialog, public action and cultural production that integrates editing, performing, publishing, recording, writing, curating and criticism."
Diverging from social norms
I had the opportunity to speak with Melissa and Rob Smith, two ghost hunters from Central New York. In the interview they tell an inspiring story of paranormal activity, science and acceptance. Based on our conversation, I created a fan zine that can easily be printed and assembled using materials in the home documenting some of the Electronic Voice Phenomenas (the most accurate form of gathering data) provided on their website through sound waves and lessons from their experiences.
Communicating an experience through design
One of the most under-apreciated aspects of about ghost hunting the amount of time that is put into collecting and analysing data. To simulate thins I created a centrefold poster in the zine that has a message depicted in code. This way, the viewer must put in work to understand the message just as the hunters need to do as they search for contact with the supernatural world.