Columbia DSL’s Sandbox episode 003 — “A Dinner with Frankenstein AI” - storytelling, food & artificial intelligence in Amsterdam
Even 200 years after its publication, Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein still resonates. This brilliant story is a powerful metaphor for our collective anxieties about technology and its capacity to escape our control. Artificial intelligence activates those fears maybe more than any other technology ever has. So, what might happen if we invited AI to dinner?
In this episode of the Columbia University School of the Arts’ Digital Storytelling Lab’s Sandbox Lance Weiler, Rachel Ginsberg and Nick Fortugno sit down to discuss “A Dinner with Frankenstein” and share their experience of collaborating with a machine.
Below is an overview of “A Dinner with Frankenstein AI” @ IDFA
“A Dinner with Frankenstein AI” had its world premiere at IDFA earlier this month. Over the course of two intimate evenings A Dinner with Frankenstein dug deeply into the tensions between human and machine in an immersive, multisensory environment that mixed food, conversation and artificial intelligence. This interactive dinner experience is created by pioneers in storytelling and technology Lance Weiler, Rachel Ginsberg and Nick Fortugno, and presented in cooperation with the National Theatre’s Immersive Storytelling Studio and IDFA DocLab.
128 guests | 4 dinners | 2 evenings | 1 AI
A sensory food / storytelling experience guided by a machine
Brakke Grond Rode Zaal
The food was prepared by renowned chief Matthias van der Nagel of Fa. Pekelhaaring
Roasted monkfish with algae powder
Roasted vegetables with pomegranate and hazelnut, feta
Smoked ribeye, pickled red onion flowers
Roasted pork head terine of preskop
Quiche of leeks and smoked ricotta
Black pasta salad
Purple cabbage lettuce
Black couscous with squid and tomato
Carrot cake with over cream cheese
Poached pear in port
Choco wiskey fudge cake salty caramel
The Experience: 105 minutes
Behind the Scenes
- AI greets all guests through house sound system, and delivers opening conversation prompt.
- Conversation begins and is captured by an omnidirectional mic sitting in the center of each dinner table.
- Text from conversation is then sent to AI through API
- AI processes conversation text based on a sentiment analysis and returns a prompt in the form of a question.
- That prompt is then delivered to an individual through an ear piece that all participants will be wearing.
- To close the main course, the AI will summarize what it heard throughout the conversation, and will draw its conclusions.
Big thanks to our amazing team that helped to make IDFA possible…
Jorgen van der Sloot
A multi-year research project, Frankenstein AI challenges commonly dystopian narratives around artificial intelligence, and seeks to provoke and broaden conversation around the trajectory of this rapidly emerging technology.
Beginning with the Sundance Film Festival this past January and over the course of next two years, we’ll invite the public into our process as collaborators through an evolving series of activations and experiences both online and off, that will traverse immersive theatre, browser-based interactions, community design, and other performative and experiential media.
Developed and produced in collaboration with the Columbia University School of the Arts’ Digital Storytelling Lab, Frankenstein AI: a monster made by many is a creative system– a network of projects around a central narrative — designed to provoke exploration around possible shared futures for artificial intelligence.
For more info please visit Frankenstein AI