SOLEDAD: WE’VE TALKED A LOT
ABOUT THE GROWTH OF ARTIFICIAL
INTELLIGENCE ON THIS PROGRAM
FROM THE BIAS OF FACIAL
RECOGNITION SOFTWARE USED BY L
ENFORCEMENT TO THE IMPACT OF DEEPFAKES, VIDEOS USED TO SPREAD
MISINFORMATION AND POTENTIALLY
INFLUENCE DEMOCRACY. ANNIE DORSEN IS PUSHING THE
LIMITS OF ARTIFICIAL
INTELLIGENCE EVEN FURTHER. SHE’S PIONEERED A NEW GENRE OF
THEATER THAT IS CHALLENGING
HUMAN AND NON-HUMAN
COMMUNICATION AND PUTTING AI
CENTER STAGE. TAKE A LOOK. DO YOU LIKE STEELY DAN? I LOVE STEELY DAN.>>ARE YOU REELING IN THE YEARS?>>I DO NOT KNOW WHETHER I AM
REELING IN THE YEARS. I AM ENCASED IN A BOX.>>>>JUST KIDDING.>>H-A-A-A. SOLEDA THAT’S FROM HER 20-
PIECE, “HELLO, HI THERE”. HER WORK JUST WON A GRANT FR
THE MACARTHUR FOUNDATION, WHICH
IS ALSO KNOWN AS THE GENIUS
AWARD. NICE TO HAVE YOU. CONGRATULATIONS ON BEING A
GENIUS. ANNIE: I DON’T KNOW IF I’M GOING
TO ACCEPT THAT. SOLEDA I WILL ACCEPT ON YOUR
BEHALF. HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR
WORK? IN THE CLIP WE SHOWED, OUR
AUDIENCE IS LIKE, THAT IS WEIRD
THEATER. ANNIE: IT DOESN’T LOOK LIKE
NORM THEATER BECAUSE YOU
NOTICE THERE IS ACTORS. I STARTED DOING THIS IN 2010,
WORKING WITH COMPUTER
PROGRAMMERS GENERATE THEATER
WHERE COMPUTER PROGRAMMERS O
COMPUTERS WOULD PERFORM
ALONGSIDE ALGORITHMS OR EVEN INSTEAD OF HUMAN ACTORS. SOLEDAD: DO YOU COME AT THIS
FROM TECH PERSPECTIVE OR A
THEATER PERSPECTIVE? ANNIE: FROM A THEATER
PERSPECTIVE. I WAS TRAINED AS A THEATER
DIRECTOR AND DID PLAYS WITH
ACTORS AND SCRIPTS FOR MANY
YEARS. I STARTED WORKING WITH
PROGRAMMERS IN 2010. SO I DON’T DO ANY OF THE CODING. I MEAN I’VE PICKED UP A LOT OVER
THE YEARS BUT BASICALLY I THIN
MORE CONCEPTUALLY ABOUT HOW
INFORMATION TECHNOLOGIES ARE
CHANGING THE WAY PEOPLE LIVE
TOGETHER AND HOW WE LIVE ACTUALLY WITH COMPUTERS. SOLEDAD: OFTEN THEATER DIRECTORS
WI TAKE HUMAN BEINGS AND HAVE
THEM HAVE CONVERSATIONS OR HAVE
SOMETHING IMPACT THEIR LIVES AS
WE WATCH IT UNFOLD. THEY DON’T MAKE THE TECHNOLOGY
CENTER STAGE. ANNIE: I STARTED THINKING ABOUT
HOW MUCH WE ARE ADAPTING THE WAY
WE LIVE TO THE NEEDS OF
COMPUTERS. THAT’S SOMETHING THAT I THINK A
LOT OF MEDIA THEORISTS HAVE
POINTED OUT. SOLEDAD: GIVE ME AN EXAMPLE. ANNIE: ON A BASIC LEVEL, PEOPLE
NOW SIT IN FRONT OF A COMPUTER
ALL DAY DOING THEIR WORK. WE LEARN THE LANGUAGE OF
COMPUTER PROGRAMS. WE START TO COMMUNICATE WITH
EACH OTHER VIA THESE MACHINES. THEY STRUCTURE OUR MODE OF
COMMUNICATION, BUT THEY ALSO ARE
THE WINDOWS WE HAVE INTO THE
WORLD. SO WHAT WE KNOW ABOUT THE WORLD
TO A LARGE EXTENT IS BECOMING
REALLY DEPENDENT ON HOW
ALGORITHMS PRESENT THAT
INFORMATION. SOLEDAD: WHAT WERE YOU HOPING TO
EXPLORE? ANNIE: IN TRADITIONAL THEATER
THEIR LINES AND THEY ARE WRITTEN
BY A PLAYWRIGHT. WE THINK WE ARE LEARNING
SOMETHING ABOUT THE CHARACTERS
IN H LIFE, THEIR DESIRES AND
MOTIVATION. I STARTED THINKING, IF A
COMPUTER IS GENERATING THAT
LANGUAGE, A COMPUTER HAS NO
DESIRE, NO INNER LIFE, AND YET
THE SAME TIME, THE LANGUAGE HAS
IMPACT. SO THIS IS ONE OF THE CLASSIC
QUESTIONS OF COMPUTER SCIENCE
GOING BAC TO 1950. CAN YOU PROGRAM A COMPUTER
HAVE A CONVERSATION THAT SOUNDS
LIKE A HUMAN CONVERSATION? SOLEDAD: WHAT IS THE TAKE AWAY? WHAT HAVE YOU LEARNED FROM 2010
TO N ABOUT THE VALUE, THE
IMPACT, THE RISKS OF AI? ANNIE: I THINK IT GOES BACK TO
WHAT YOU SAID IN THE
INTRODUCTION. WE THINK ABOUT AI IN THE
POLITICAL REALM AS SOMETHING WE
HAVE TO BE CAREFUL OF. WHAT I WOULD LIKE PROPOSE IS
THAT WE CAN BE THINKING AND
REFLECTING ABO AI IN THE
SOCIAL AND EMOTIONAL REALM AS
WELL. THESE TOOLS HAVE A LOT OF POWER. WE ARE STARTING TO UNTANGLE WITH
THEM MORE AND MORE. THESE ARE POWERFUL THINGS. AND IN THEATER, WE ARE USED TO
TELLING STORIES. THESE ALGORITHMS ALSO TELL
STORIES. SOLEDAD: DO YOU LORD OVER YOUR
FRIENDS THAT YOU ARE A GENIUS? [LAUGHTER]
SOLEDAD: THAT IS A FAIR
QUESTION. ANNIE: IT HAS ONLY BEEN A FEW
DAYS. SOLEDA A FEW DAYS YOU’VE BEEN
WASTING. COME

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