Thoughtworks Arts

How We Created a GPT-2 AI “Sicko” Chatbot for a New Media Opera

Ellen Pearlman Jonathan Heng
Ellen Pearlman & Jonathan Heng
Thursday, 20 May 2021

AIBO (Artificial Intelligent Brainwave Opera) is an emotionally intelligent artificial intelligent brainwave opera. The performance piece follows two characters, Eva, a human performer wearing a bodysuit of light and AIBO, a “sicko” chatbot powered by a GPT-2 AI.

Eva’s brainwaves trigger colored “emotional” responses
Eva’s brainwaves trigger colored “emotional” responses of lights on her smart textile bodysuit, as well as emotionally themed sound and videos. Photo by Taavet Jansen

The opera’s spoken word libretto is adapted from the biography of Eva von Braun about her fourteen-year love affair with Adolf Hitler. It is a metaphor for humanity’s infatuations with AI.

A Continuous Integration Toolkit for Artists

James Coupe
Posted by James Coupe
Friday, 16 April 2021

During my Synthetic Media residency at Thoughtworks Arts I began developing a new work Birds of the British Empire that explores the linkages between historical, colonial archives and the training sets used in machine learning. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic the residency took place online via various cloud-based tools and servers.

Preliminary experiments from Birds of the British Empire

The museum is… not so much the space for the representation of art history as a machine to produce and stage the new art of today—in other words, to produce “today” as such. In this sense, the museum produces, for the first time, the effect of presence, of looking alive.
— Boris Groys, On The New

Working with Thoughtworks developers we used Continuous Integration (CI) techniques to link together and automate our codebases, so that when for example I make changes to one Machine Learning algorithm the whole system can run end-to-end and generate new results.

These types of distributed workflows open up new ways for artists to organize, store and exhibit work.

Thoughtworks Arts Presents at Bozar Labs in Line With STARTS Prize 2020

Posted by the Thoughtworks Arts Team
Tuesday, 12 January 2021

In congruence with the Starts Prize 2020 exhibition held at Bozar this Fall, Bozar Lab organized a webinar on the topic of artist and technologist collaborations as a model for innovation.

Artist and Thoughtworks Arts A.I. resident, Karen Palmer (Storyteller From The Future), presented her immersive film project Perception IO, and shared how it explores the intersection of A.I., bias, policing, and new, innovative forms of storytelling.

Life During (and After) Covid-19 - Artistic Strategies and Breakthrough Responses

Posted by the Thoughtworks Arts Team
Sunday, 8 November 2020

Program director Ellen Pearlman moderated The Grid panel Life During (and After) Covid-19 - Artistic Strategies and Breakthrough Responses.

The live panel discussion focused on how the current global pandemic has impacted art institutions, collaborative work, and audience involvement, especially in relation to innovative indy-led network solutions. 

Confronting the Unknown: Art & Technology Research for Service Design

Posted by the Thoughtworks Arts Team
Thursday, 1 October 2020

Program director Andrew McWilliams and Synthetic Media resident Nouf Aljowaysir presented at the virtual Rethink Italy Service Design Festival this summer.

The live-streamed discussion, now available on YouTube, addresses a Service Design audience with ideas on how art-based technology research informs designers examining a changing social landscape over time.

Dancedemic World Premiere at Battery Dance Virtual Festival

Posted by the Thoughtworks Arts Team
Thursday, 10 September 2020

As part of the 39th Annual Battery Dance Festival, Art-A-Hack’s Special Edition COVID-19 2020 “Dancedemic” had its world premiere on August 21st in a live-streamed event.

The live performance was a two-part showcase featuring world-renowned dancers from Battery Dance’s immigrant fellowship program, Hussein Smko (Iraq/Kurdistan/US) and Razvan Stoian (Romania/US).