28 Jun 2023, 8:00pm - 10:00pm

In 2014, social psychology PhD student, Kevin Corti, and his supervisor at the London School of Economics, Prof. Alex Gillespie, revisited Stanley Milgram’s 1970’s cyranoid experiments. Milgram was famous for his experiments in social control, seeing how far his test subjects would go in administering electric shock when instructed by an authority figure. Corti and Gillespie modified the cyranoid into a new concept more appropriate for our 21st century world of ChatGPT and all-knowing social media. The came up with the term echoborg; a person whose words or actions are controlled in whole or part by an artificial intelligence.

In 2016, maker of interactive and participatory media, Rik Lander, and conversational AI maker, Phil D. Hall, began adapting the concept into a live performance, I am Echoborg. This is a show that is created afresh each time by an audience in conversation with an AI. The show’s host sets the audience a challenge to collectively come up with the best possible relationship between humans and AI. It results in a funny, challenging, sometimes utopian, often dystopian, human vs AI power struggle.

Seven years later they are inviting Corti and Gillespie as guests of honour at the 100th performance of I am Echoborg at Arnolfini.

The event will be supported by the Digital Cultures Research Centre of the University of the West of England. Marie-Helene Boyd will be the echoborg and Dan Obi will host.

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