When A.I.s Go Feral (2017)

When A.I.s Go Feral imagines how the life of a neighbourhood is modified by autonomous A.I. entities which have gone feral. Inspired by a real life story of a flamboyant real estate developer who imported non-native species of birds onto his private ranch, the project uses the suburban birdsong soundscape to explore a constantly mutating and evolving hybrid ecosystem. When A.I.s Go Feral was carried out in two parts; the second part was exhibited at Ars Electronica in Linz, Austria as part of the Internet of Enlightened Things show. 

When AIs Go Feral pt. 1 proposes a world where exotic bird-like artificial intelligence entities have been curated and imported by a landowner to augment the soundscape of his garden. Since their introduction, these A.I.s have become popular decorations and can be seen in gardens throughout the neighbourhood. What happens when A.I. entities become feral in a neighbourhood, and what are the consequences?
 

There are three kinds of exotic A.I. entities: the Personal Assistant A.I. (a social "parrot"), the Muzak A.I. (a whimsical "songbird"), and the Surveillance A.I. (a saucy Peacock). These A.I. entities are from different places, and therefore they are not designed to interact with one another. When the Personal Assistant A.I. and the Muzak A.I. enter into a conversational feedback loop, the aggravated Surveillance A.I. erupts. ​This project was realized as a sculptural installation which was exhibited in the Wind Tunnel gallery at ArtCenter, and was also deployed in a suburban neighbourhood in Arcadia, California. 


When A.I.s Go Feral pt. 2 imagines how ubiquitous A.I. entities in a neighbourhood may become influenced by the natural sounds of their environment. What if A.I. entities altered the sounds of their communication in response to their local soundscapes? These A.I. entities, which take the form of A.I. "birds", communicate audibly with one another in the neighbourhood. However, their messages become distorted over time, and similar to a game of Telephone, their messages become distorted over time, oscillating between sounds resembling digital sine tones and bird-like calls.

 

What kind of influence will an environment's soundscape have on A.I. entities that inhabit the space? This installation creates an sonic experience that feels simultaneously natural and synthetic, and asks, what are the broader implications of uncontrolled, "non-native" AI species becoming part of the neighbourhood?​​

This installation was exhibited in the Post-City Building at Ars Electronica in Linz, Austria as part of The Internet of Enlightened Things group show. When A.I.s Go Feral served as an platform for inquiry about future neighbourhoods where autonomous A.I. or IoT entities are ubiquitous, and speculates about the impact of surrounding environments and soundscapes on the evolution and emergent behaviours of A.I. and IoT ecologies. 

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