The Conscious Machine v3.1

This work has developed through a series of interactive installations. It focuses on four parts of conscious experience:

1. Searching
2. Internal monologue/dialogue
3. Body and present moment awareness
4. Emotional response to stimulus

The viewer watches and listens as the computer performs an Internet search for poetry and inspiration from the social stream and the Semantic Web, reading out it’s findings. This can continue indefinitely but is interrupted if the viewer sits in the chair.

The computer then begins to show a generative, first person point-of-view film, whilst reading a breath relaxation exercise designed to bring the consciousness of the viewer into the present.

A sensor in the chair measures the breathing of the viewer and changes the contrast and saturation of the video at the same rate as the viewer’s breathing.

The film is edited at the computer’s discretion with its voice reading lines from the author Richard Moss about the mechanics of conscious engagement with emotional states.

The resulting film and dialogue is unique for each visitor.

After a few minutes the viewer is asked to leave the chair.

The intention is for the viewer to observe their own emotional connection or intellectual response to the imagery and spoken word, and to realize that this observation is being absorbed and processed by the machine.

Visitor Comments

“thanks, i needed to connect but I didn’t know it. And now I have uniquely and powerfully”

“thought provoking and profound. my expectations were confounded and exceeded, thank you!”

“thanks for the interesting experience. I like the idea that computers want to gain human feelings.”

The Conscious Machine v3.1 was exhibited as part of The Brighton Digital Festival 2012

Stills photography by Daniel Yanez Gonzalez

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