At the festival, meet CAIL, the Cheering Artificial Intelligence Leader, designed by Director of Research and Collaboration for Emerge, Hannah Star Rogers, with Center for Science and Imagination staff Joey Eschrich (Editor and Program Manager) and Nina Miller (Design Strategist). Future scenarios can be used to help participants think about the implications of new technologies and how their choices and values can be a part of shaping technology. This interactive, participatory system began online before the festival as “Cheers for the Future,” and involved ASU Creative Writing MFA students led by Sally Ball. Then writers, poets, and the general public were asked to write cheers that might be used by CAIL at Emerge. The call for cheers consisted of a combination of questions and images meant to inspire and provoke responses from writers. The website listed the following questions:
- What kinds of cheers would artificial beings create?
- Since sports can be viewed and reviewed online, will artificial beings cheer for events long past?
- Will they sound anything like traditional sports cheers for football or basketball?
- Will human fans cheer for their favorite machine athletes, or remain stubbornly loyal to athletes of their own species?
- Will they cheer for mechanical or digital athletes, or, in the case of video games and e-sports, for the programs running the simulation, trying to foil the human players?
At the festival, visitors can add to CAIL’s cheers and interact with the machinery of the exhibition, an assemblage of an of screens, phones, computers, printers, alarm locks, and typewriters representing technologies from the 1970s to the contemporary state of the art. Following the exhibition, a printed publication of the submitted cheers, called Robot Spirit Engine, will be available to the public for free.
For more on CAIL, see https://emerge.asu.edu/2016/exhibits/lets-hear-it-for-the-future-cheer-engine/
For more on CAIL as research, see Project MUSE – Cheering Artificial Intelligence Leader: Creative Writing and Materializing Design Fiction (jhu.edu).