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Training 2038

VR interaction design & game development

Project concept
Training 2038 is an interactive VR installation with a conversational bot feature. The story is acted out between this nonhuman entity and a human user in a way, that the former interrogates the latter about our ways of thinking, our ways of acting. Toghether they discuss the underlying principles of human and artificial symbiosis. In the VR experience, artificial intelligence is represented by a biomorphic 3D environment with a text-to-speech voice. Scenery, where the user feels safe to expose himself and anonymously provide an honest opinion on a topic he otherwise wouldn't feel that comfortable to discuss in an undisclosed, public space.

Theory
Since the first industrial revolution, automation is one of the major objectives in the development of productivity, i.e. to replace human workforce with task-performing machines. Today, under algorithmic capitalism and industry 4.0, scripted interactions are prone to stake out a territory in terms of employment in historic measures.

Artificial Intelligence disrupts a large segment of the industry – from the self-driving cars reinventing transportation, chatbots reinventing friendship, unmanned drones reinventing war, smart domestic appliances reinventing housework to e-government reinventing politics. How far are we prepared to hand over the control to our machines? Safety being a major social issue here, we need to pre-mediate outcomes and train our future robots in order to avoid catastrophic results. But are we 100% sure of what values we should be teaching to the artificial beings? Do we inherently have an ethical code of conduct that can be universally applied?

Gameplay stages
main menu -> intro -> name input -> topic selection -> interactive chatbot -> results -> outro

The conversation between the Entity and a user is divided into six thematic circles [self-driving car, politics, warfare, online media, intimacy, human vs artificial]. Each topic has a unique music composed by Filip Ruisl. Questions sometimes create goosebumps – their nature is very confrontational, with the purpose to make the user aware of the fact that we all, humanity are responsible -now- for the way we are going to be treated by AI's later on after year 2038. The user is able to select a topic he prefers in the beginning of the experience. Topics are represented with their respective tokens. 

Later, user uses the token to select an answer from two options the entity offers. When the user picks the answer he is comfortable with, the Entity processes it and displays a graph which shows the preference of that answer among past users. The chatbot's questions and answers are written in a tree network nature, so the user's answers leads the direction of the dialogue. As we reach the end of the session (5-10 mins), the A.I. tells us an evaluation based on our decisions.

The physical part of the installation is constructed by LED festoons fixed to an orbicular structure hanged from the above, representing a safe-space for the human participant. The curtain is controlled by Healium Lightformer software, refletcting interaction and some actions user performs in the virtual world.

In 2017, Kitchen Budapest celebrated it's tenth anniversary. Installation Training 2038 is a project prepared specially for this occasion by KiBu members and alumnis. It has been displayed during the "KiBu10!" event, on June 21-23 on three different locations in Budapest – in Telekom HQ, Akvarium Club, and KiBu. Later on the project was invited to show on Ars Electronica Festival 2017, and also got in to the permanent collection of Ars Electronica Centre.

The data inputed during the sessions is being stored in the cloud and an interactive datavisualization website is under development to give an overview about the results so far. The website is trying to answer the question: what might be the characteristics of an autonomous A.I. in the near future? 

project developed by: Kitchen Budapest  interactions: Gábor Pribék, Filip Ruisl  coding: Gábor Pribék, Jonathan Ravasz  3D modelling: Iván Rohonyi-Demkó  sound design: Filip Ruisl  chatbot: Richárd Nagyfi  story & content: Szilvi Német, Attila Nemes, Orsolya Forster, Patrik Makrai, Judit Varga, Richárd Nagyfi  installation design: Healium Decoration (Márton Timóczki- Nagy, Márton Urbán, Zsolt Emri)

Budapest, Linz, 2017