PL(Ai)Y

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“Can artificial intelligences replace human in a theatre play?”

We – human always think that we are more superior than machine. However, artificial intelligent (AI) is going to reach (or, actually, reached) to frontier that infeasible for human. At the beginning of human’s primitive society, invention of machines and technologies increased our living standard. Skills and basics machineries were complement. However, since the period of industrialization in 18th century, the machines was treated as threads to human’s jobs. Majority of factory works are now done by machines. Human’s creativity is a unique feature of our species, and the final frontier for the machine to replace. The installation “Pl(Ai)y” challenges the prior premise by introducing AI actors that are part of the theatre piece. “Pl(Ai)y” is inspired by a one-act performance of Samuel Beckett, namely “Play”. Beckett pushes the boundary of aesthetics by introducing the idea of “anti-theatre”. It is characterized by anti-realistic components against norms of conventional theatre, characters lack the motivation and expression found in characters of realistic dramas (highlighting their purposelessness), and the characters are often out of harmony or out of sync with the worlds. These extraordinary practices stimulate a question “What if an artificial intelligences replace human in the Beckett’s play?” Pl(Ai)y contains three LCD screens aligning vertically on the wall; each displays an artistic rendering of human face that can speak to the audiences in the same way that three actors show their faces in Beckett’s play. Each face is powered by artificial intelligence (AI) pre-trained on different groups of classic literatures to create different personality. The AI can infinitely generates new dialogs by mimicking human language structures stemming from the audience voice. The dynamic conversations between the audiences and AI will stimulate variety of emotions and interpretations overtimes. “Pl(Ai)y” installation aims to shed light on a bigger question on the role, relationship, and boundary of human and artificial intelligence in the artistic space such as theatre : “What would happen if the machines can express aesthetics better than human?”

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