A downloadable project
Handmade A.I is a game designer's investigation box, a collection of analogue game experiments to play on principles of A.I from outside technology.
A set of card and mind games in 3 parts, it explores human foundations of A.I as a social grammar, rather than mathematical construct - an assembly of playable allegories on concepts of extraction, interpretation and automated decision-making.
The term A.I. is used to imply uncountable things. This project uses card and mind games to reflect on the cultural components of A.I, and looking into personal interpretations that can be made out of units of not-so-artificial intelligence. This surreal game conversation hopes to help participants reimagine the language and power narratives embedded in our networked technologies.
Handmade A.I uses applied research, role play, and symbolic systems design to examine A.I through these concepts. Each analogue experiment presents a specific focus and tone; ranging from serious to irreverent in either a global, personal or social perspective on an A.I principle.
- "The Extraction Game" is an involved coop strategy, a card-based board game on nature and AI governance for 2-5 players. Watch a teaser HERE.
This game is a cooperative survival card puzzle, initially designed for 30-45 minute sessions in engineering classrooms and conferences, Using set assembly and light engine building gameplay, a team of players act as experts responding to climate crisis, by crafting AI models. It aims to trigger conversation; countering a techno-utopian narrative with a limited game world economy, and unpredictable events brought about by the extractive practices of a technological construct.
This collaboration was also shared at NYU's Future of Imagination Convergence.
- "The Decision Tree" is a role-play and spatial intervention for 3 players. Watch a teaser HERE. It is a performative satire inspired by the living legacy of the Mechanical Turk. A historical chess game from 1819 is used as the base for a theatrical installation between silent actors handing each other one-word prompts and putting off decision-making as long as possible. Through a set of curated props, this semi-scripted scene investigates our relationship to creating or following rules, outsourcing decisions, and the roles we ascribe to technology.
- "The Forecaster" is the base, a themed 52 card deck of A and I word prompts that can be read individually or with guides, for personal meaning.
Try an excerpt from the interpretation deck HERE.
This considers the process of projection and association involved in ascribing intelligence. It's inspired by tarot readings, children games of “Telephone” and the potent glitches of human and technological interpretations.
This collection of game experiments is in ongoing progress, developed as MFA thesis at NYU's Game Center between 2020-2021. The project emerged out of collaboration with researcher and NYU Future of Imagination Fellow Mona Sloane (PhD) in 2020,
The Extraction Game was created in direct response to Mona's FIC fellowship, and her Co-opting AI event series at NYU's Institute for Public Knowledge. The others experiments are personal and aesthetic extensions of this research. A thousand thanks to Mona, to all the participants, conversationalists and playful performers, and to Thomas Sullivan for additional design perspectives.
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