A robot/digital agent and a person meet onstage. Each can understand language and produce language, so a dialogue is possible. But how will this dialogue look? What will they talk about? Will they be able to agree on a topic of conversation? Will they be able to make reference to one another? Play with one another? Who will take on what role? Who will develop what personality? And will the events be interesting for viewers?
The project Chatbots Onstage will use artistic means to pose the question: How can humans and machines be co-creative onstage, and what performative consequences will this have? AIs capable of participating in a dialogue will be brought together onstage with actors, and their ability to interact will be explored. Computer scientists and artists Kory Mathewson (Canada), Piotr Mirowski (London), and Cedric Plessiet (Paris) will present their artificial actors onstage and demonstrate the current capacity for chatbots to participate in conversation. Viewers will be confronted with a reflection on human–machine co-creativity; the artistic collaboration between humans and machines.
The project Chatbots Onstage is part of the research focus Performative Praxis at the Zurich University of the Arts.