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With our exhibit, we were really trying to explore and communicate the human impact a technological innovation like Chappie would have once introduced and fully integrated into somebody’s life over a long period of time. All of our exhibit deliverables were designed to illustrate the human-Chappie relationship and allow onlookers into the intimacy developed between human and AI.

In our storyline, the Nest is the device that houses Chappie’s main neural network and sensors. It is designed as a static device that can be placed on a table and represents a window through which Chappie and the user can interact. The Triggers are small portable units that collect information about the user’s daily life and conduct preliminary processing of the information including selection and categorization of the stored data at a basic level. The majority of the “thinking” occurs at the Nest. When the user places the trigger on the Nest, the information collected is transferred to a mainframe, where the day’s collected data gets integrated into Chappie’s memory. The on-board LEDs visually indicate when Chappie is active on the device.

For the purposes of showcasing Chappie’s capabilities in an exhibit setting, however, we prototyped an interaction where a viewer selects a Trigger and places it into the Nest to activate a recording of a user’s experience with Chappie. Each trigger corresponds to a different point in the user’s life after meeting Chappie (first, third, and seventh year), with the recordings taking the perspective of Chappie. The video is projected onto a surface behind the demonstration table and the audio gets split between two speakers, one for the user, and the other for Chappie to provide a more immersive experience. Removing the Trigger from the Nest at any point in the playback aborts the video and gives the user the ability to quickly skim between recordings.

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