Rik Lander, Phil D. Hall: I am Echoborg


  • ©, Rik Lander and Phil D. Hall, I am Echoborg

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    I am Echoborg

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    Live show

Artist Statement:


    I am Echoborg is a challenging, thought-provoking participatory online show created afresh each time by an audience in conversation with an artificial intelligence. This is a pioneering, innovative use of AI as a tool to deliver genuine audience agency in the creation of an experiential exploration of the impacts of automation on what it is to be human. I am Echoborg provokes audiences; it opens up a lot of questions.

    Since 2016, experienced interactive dramatist, Rik Lander and conversational systems designer Phil D. Hall have been developing a conversational system for the show that gives a very strong impression of sentience. It is designed, for example, to be able to have in depth conversations about subjects such as consciousness, the climate crisis and emotions. Human beings are highly prone to project “theory of mind”; to attribute mental states – beliefs, intents, desires, emotions, knowledge, etc – on to entities that we encounter. Perhaps it is not necessary to build an AI with sentience when it is enough to build an elegantly and deviously designed pattern matching engine which people project as self-aware. A human weakness is that we see sentience where it is not.


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