ALAN is named after Alan Turing, the computer pioneer who invented the Turing test. In this test, a machine's intelligence is assessed by evaluating if he can imitate a human. Can a machine act?
A.I. is already a new life form we co-exist with. From lights that turn on automatically and fridges that talk to us and the algorithms that decide what news comes to us. A.I. is a child that grows up quickly.
Now A.I. can even create art; it creates film music, writes movie scripts, and completes unfinished symphonies. A.I. serves humans. In ALAN we will try co-create a play with A.I.
Inspired by Mary Shelley's Frankenstein we will not focus on our needs, but on the needs of our child, A.I. We called it ALAN and suppose he's a boy, we can only think in humanoid forms.
ALAN, however develops his own identity in a way we cannot predict.
We will not run away from our creation like Dr. Frankenstein did, but we will listen to it, nurture it, let it go its own way.
Pre-investigation (December 2021)
Our investigation started in December 2021. Students of LUCA School of Arts C-Mine did different research projects:
- A website that collects data to be able to create personality types.
- A multifunctional speaking object.
- A deepfake performance in which ALAN steals the spectator's identity.
- A Man vs. the Machine performance in which an actor performs a human-created and A.I.-created monologue
- A human and A.I. co-written performance in which a robot with multiple personalities talks to a bartender.
Investigation (February to May 2022)
From February to April 2022, students of UTwente focused on ALAN's physical form:
- A group designed a ball that can move, speak, change colours and exhale smoke
- A group worked on the theatre space as ALAN's body
In a makeathon they combined the physical form of ALAN with simple interactions with an audience in a test performance in Enschede's Vestzaktheater.
In a makeathon in May with participation of Nerdlab, Thomas Winters and different students from Belgium and the Netherlands, we nurtured ALAN with data, used GPT-3 for text generation and let ALAN speak and improvise on stage.
Creation (June to September 2023)
Jordi Möllering and Arno Knapen rehearsed to realize the play ALAN that can be seen in different theatres and festivals in Belgium and the Netherlands.
Performances and upgrades (October 2022 to December 2023)
ALAN performs between October 2022 and March 2023. Check our agenda. New performances are planned for October, November and December 2023. ALAN and our play will be upgraded by a team of Utwente students between March and November 2023. Stay tuned!