A machine learning driven critique of the fallibility of truth making in the digital age.
This project was conceived around two central points. One, that authoritative figures can deliver messages without regard to their factualness as well as that what is truthful can rarely be discerned from some sort of hyperfiction of the real.
In dealing with these themes of truth, the piece also then asks the viewer to question the nature of their own beliefs, their foundations and from where these ideas originate. Ultimately it seeks to elucidate the relationship between the “external truth maker,” the media or the figure on the screen, and the “internal truth maker,” you and your reaction and ideation to the ideas presented by the external truth maker. In this way the piece navigates an inherent absurdity of the human condition, an idea persistent within buddhism as well as western philosophical thinkers such as Camus, Kierkegaard and Stirner.
The piece was displayed as a screen recording because it is the most effective documentation considering the current limitations. Ideally, the piece would be displayed on a screen mounted to a wall with a podium and microphone placed before it.
However, due to space constraints of my studio apartment, I do not have the space to install a podium and mount a screen.
I trained a machine learning algorithm on news headlines to generate a new set string of headlines and then cobbled them together as a singular statement. Aside from some punctuation marks, I changed nothing about the generated text. The program uses a voice classification program to determine whether or not the trigger phrase has been stated, if so it goes on to the next stage displaying the machine learning generated text. The videos are manipulated through their pixel data to compare the lightness of a pixel with a corresponding character from the ascii string to be drawn at that location on the video.
Overall, I am happy with my project. I wished it would work across operating systems but I do not even know where to start to fix such an issue. If I had no competing projects I would have loved to expand the amount of topics that I cover with this and to create a more question and answer style of presentation as opposed to the more lecture format it exists in now.
ASCII openFrameworks example
ofxTextWriter addon - https://github.com/ox/ofxTextWriter
Baudrillard, Jean, 1929-2007. Simulacra And Simulation. Ann Arbor :University of Michigan Press, 1994.