Date: 1.11—10.11.19
Institution: Hong Kong International Literary Festival
Location: Hong Kong, HK

cardboard, plywood, plexiglass, motor, electronics, custom software, pen 

Ghost Writer, by Swiss / French design studio AATB is a rambling Artificial Intelligence, a lost digital poet free writing on an endless stream of paper. The robotic device keeps on meandering through machine-generated words and sentences, as they appear to us by the movement of the pen. The slow reveal of the story, that has no beginning nor no end, invites the reader to experience for a brief time a machine-fabricated reality, a fiction of a fiction.

Ghost Writer explores the recent advances in the field of Natural Language Processing. As Artificial Intelligence systems become more and more advanced, they have started to produce truly remarkable content, entirely generated by computing systems. If one does not dare talk about creative machines, one must admit that these developments cast severe doubts and questions on the uniqueness of Human creativity. 

Ghost Writer embodies these topics by embedding an Artificial Intelligence system programmed to generate a continuous stream of text, a sort of algorithmic hallucinatory process from which the computer is able not to recognise input text, but generate novel, often strange and remarkable content. The digital mind is complemented by a physical body, a pen plotter, that it can control to write its story in a sort of autonomous typewriter. The lengthy printed stack of paper, attest of the obstination and thoughtlessness of the machine, but each paragraph, carefully computed manages to fulfil our need to recognise patterns and stories buried in the characters.