November 8, 2008
Computers in Conversation

Two installation works which employ two computers each to generate a dialogue.

Taiwa-Hensokuki (image above) by Yuko Mohri is an installation consisting of two computers which converse. The computers:

each equipped with speech synthesis software and speech recognition software, interact: the text that one computer reads aloud is analyzed by the other, which reads out the results for the other to analyze. That process is repeated throughout the day, during which the text gradually mutates.

Permanent Vacation (image above) by Cory Arcangel consists of two computers which endlessly bounce auto-replies to each other saying their user is away. The audience are not permitted to see the emails themselves just the inbox’s of the users who every so often hear the hear ding of a new email arriving. Marisa Olson’s review on rhizome questions:

Could this exchange go on forever?

It seems it could continue until the network connection is broken, the computer runs out of space or is shut down however what I’m curious about is how did the exchange start? Surely it was initiated by one user at one of the computers? So is this a statement about the break down of user communication or the lack of any real intelligence in automated systems?

Some related personal work, Video Network #1: Dialogues, while not text/language based does create a dialogue between two parts of the installation.

Originally seen at Neural and Rhizome.

    Posted by: Garrett @ 1:35 pm

    5 Comments / Pings about “Computers in Conversation”

    1. Jean-no Says:
      November 8th, 2008 at 2:58 pm

      It reminds me a little of “Information transcript” (1995), by artist Piotr Kowalski. In this piece, a person from the Boston MIT was talking to a computer. His words were transcripted and interpreted by the computer. Then it was translated in french and sent to a place in the city of Lyon, where it was told by a text-to-speech engine.
      So : Human A speech in english -> speech to text recognition -> translation in french -> text to speech.

      Comment by Jean-no — November 8, 2008 @ 2:58 pm

    2. Garrett Says:
      November 8th, 2008 at 4:53 pm

      Interesting artist, had never heard of him. Some links:

      Comment by Garrett — November 8, 2008 @ 4:53 pm

    3. Jean-no Says:
      November 8th, 2008 at 5:57 pm

      It’s funny there is not a lot of things about him in english, but even if he have been representing France at the Venice Biennial, he was himself very “international” (lived, studied or work in Poland, Germany, USA and France) and has been a MIT teacher for years. He died a few years ago.

      Comment by Jean-no — November 8, 2008 @ 5:57 pm

    4. Garrett Says:
      November 8th, 2008 at 6:23 pm

      >representing France at the Venice Biennial

      I was wondering why there was so much on him in French and very little even in Polish.

      Comment by Garrett — November 8, 2008 @ 6:23 pm

    5. Network Research » EPROM Says:
      December 4th, 2011 at 9:53 pm

      [...] way of showing contemporary and new media art. Other examples I’ve posted here include Taiwa-Hensokuki, Relay Works, Line, Vacuum Filaments, Earphones, Distant Views and Crash and [...]

      Pingback by Network Research » EPROM — December 4, 2011 @ 9:53 pm

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