The Chain


Maynooth University

Question: Are algorithmic voices gendered?

Machines Wake is a human and AI authored interactive narrative created by me, Jeneen Naji, during the first Covid lockdown in Ireland in 2020 and completed during the second in 2021. This Twine story interleaves memories and photos of the lives of my mother, her mother, and my daughter along with quotes generated by a GPT-2 machine learning algorithm that was trained on James Joyce’s Finnegan’s Wake. Machines Wake is situated in the start of the second machine age that we inhabit and attempts to deal with the temporal distortion experienced by the individual during Covid lockdowns as their world shrunk and past memories rose to the surface. The integration of quotes generated by a GPT-2 algorithm trained on the already fluid and multilinear text of Finnegan’s Wake means that it becomes impossible to discern where the human begins and the machine ends, highlighting the cyborg reality that we all have now become terminals at the end of a global digital text of pandemic emergency remote working and learning practices. 

Question: Are algorithmic voices friendly?

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