A “blind date” with artificial intelligence, anyone?

A “blind date” with an artificial intelligence, çhas you said?”

Premonitions: Voices, a work of public art designed by Nicolas Grenier, allows you to interact with an artificial intelligence. Until September 16, you can try it out at Galerie PVM in Place Ville Marie. 

In a dimly lit room, two armchairs face each other. On one, an actor wearing sunglasses awaits visitors. On the other, you can sit and take the microphone on the table in front of you to interrogate an artificial intelligence (AI).  

If the questions are transmitted directly to the IAGPT-4 via the microphone, the answers are pronounced by the interpreter, since they are transcribed into his glasses. 

Metro has attempted this particularly destabilizing experiment.  

A hybrid entity 

In addition to asking our reporter questions, the AI/interpreter addressed him using nicknames like “my coco” or “my heart”, blurring the distinction between human and machine even more. Who really speaks to us, the performer or the AI?  

Both, answers the designer of the work, Nicolas Grenier. 

“The interpreter appropriates the text as it goes along. Sometimes he improvises words, sometimes not. It depends on the circumstances. »

A &laquo ;blind date” with artificial intelligence, çdid you say?” /></p>
<p><img class=

A &laquo ;blind date” with artificial intelligence, çdid you say?” /></p>
<p>Photo: <strong>Courtesy, Mike Patten</strong> </p>
<p>It is this ambiguity that makes the experience interesting, considers the artist, adding that the contribution of the performer is at times unavoidable, depending on the questions asked. For example, if we ask why the interpreter put on a white sweater, only he can answer, not the AI, which has also been programmed to leave room for the interpreter. . </p>
<p>The AI ​​was also created with different personalities that we choose at random before starting the experience. “There are 10 different personalities and each responds in their own way. » </p>
<p>« Then there is a paragraph that describes the context and explains to the AI ​​that it is not ChatGPT, but that it is a voice in an art installation in Montreal », continues Nicolas Grenier.  </p>
<p>This paragraph also indicates to the AI ​​that it is a hybrid entity, that is to say an AI embodied by a human, specifying that if it is asked questions about its human nature, its feelings, its body, it must let the interpreter answer. </p>
<h3 class=Like an arms race

Never has AI been talked about so much only since this year. If this technology fascinates, it also destabilizes, even worries some people.  

What fascinates Nicolas Grenier is the variety of public interactions with his installation.  

“25% of visitors have a good knowledge of and know how to engage really deep conversations. There is also a category of people who come and really feel like it's just a human answering them. They don't realize the artificial intelligence part at all and that's a bit scary, honestly. Humans, we're pretty easy to fool. »  

Finally, there are people who consult AI like an oracle, says Nicolas Grenier.   

Is he afraid that AI will have a negative impact on his practice? 

“I worry a lot about it, admits the artist. When the project originated in 2021, ChatGPT was not yet available. So the goal was to make AI accessible to the public so that they could realize what was happening. » 

What Nicolas Grenier apprehends is that the maximization of corporate profits guides the orientations and development of this technology as a priority. 

«C It's a bit like an arms race where we seek to develop the most powerful AI as quickly as possible, because it represents gigantic financial interests, he argues. That's what really worries me. I'm afraid it's to the detriment not just of artists, but of people in general. »  

If AIs were designed by non-profit organizations, he would worry much less, he concludes. 

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