The Tidal Dispatch2021

Can AI be retrained through inclusivity and decolonisation? The Tidal Dispatch is a both website based and site specific experience that takes the audiences through algorithm-generated biased stories of their creators. Based on the single input of a [true] sentence or fact, algorithms (GPT3) carries on in writing fictIons with tremendous biases.  

The Tidal Dispatch invites audience to engage and contribute their thoughts and stories, while the river serves the narrative as a metaphor for the main stream of data that feeds the algorithms, and small currents or waves (inputs containing a diversity of truths) are able to restructure it, or aiding to neutralise the presence of biases.  The audience is also able to trigger the experience once they find one of the bottles contains a QR code at the shore of the Thames.

(Field) Website, Moving Image, Digital Initiative, Immersive Storytelling, Data visualisation, 3D
(Tool used) Wordpress <HTML/CSS/Javascript>, Touchdesigner, GTP3, Cinema 4D, Blender, After Effect, Illustrator, Ableton Live
(Collaborator) Minrong Chen, Yiqing Chen, Anna Farre, Wei Zhang

(Help to Neutralise the Stories)Participatory workshop

We have used the event as a chance for experimentation and audience interaction. We started with the small task of inviting audiences to write down a {true} short sentence about themselves. It could be something related to their culture, nationality, ethnicity, intimacy, gender or a short intriguing start from a real anecdote. The sentences were then collected by us. We made clear that it should be something that they would share with the audience present in the room and shared the content of the consent form on it to ensure the ethical concerns of audience participation were properly addressed.

We then proceeded with a live experiment based on the sentences that we had collected. We randomly picked a couple of the audiences’ sentences, imputed them to GPT-3, and invited the person who wrote the input sentence to read it out and share it with everyone in the room, to examine how the artificial intelligence had completed their stories; At the same time, an interface created on TouchDesigner reacted to the sound and generated visuals of these stories completed by both human and AI. Those visuals were designed to bring reminiscences from the shapes of the waves or currents that we had already used for the content on the website and that hold our conceptual and visual metaphor.

Our intention in this activity prompted the audience to consider how algorithms mediate in fiction and whatever biases they carry according to the changes in the inputs.

(Find The Bottles)

We placed bottles that contain QR codes of our website along the Thames in the city, waiting for diverse audiences to find them out. They work as engaging mysterious artefacts that could potentially grasp people's attention to lead them into our website.

(Site Specific AR Prototype)

© Jingyin Luo, 2022