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In addition to the Nest and Trigger, showing what the physical artifacts around Chappie are, and the video interaction to illustrate how Chappie evolves over time, we created several artifacts to help museum attendees understand Chappie’s impact over time. First, we created a catalog with a few headlines and post-research experiment interviews with users and subject matter experts. This helped provide museum attendees with the perspective of outsiders. To give museum attendees the insider perspective, we created a journal log for one of the research participants, following the evolution of their deepening relationship with Chappie over the course of ten years. The timeline pulled out key dates and quotes from the journal, breaking them into ‘phases’ of relationship progress. This allowed museum visitors a quick way to interface with the relationship, if they didn’t have the time or will to flip through the entire journal.

While our exhibit describes and shows off the technology of Chappie, it also tells the story of a relationship between human and algorithm that starts off tentatively and eventually becomes something codependent and slightly sinister. Chappie was created for the purposes of a decades-long research experiment on AGI capabilities. At the conclusion of the ten years, however, the research subjects were so tied to their Chappie’s that they refused to give the Chappie’s back. This resulted in a contentious lawsuit eventually settled in the favor of the research subjects, after psychological experts testified to the extreme reliance and loss of ability to independently function without Chappie. This puts our exhibit, a few years after this verdict is reached, in murky ground. Chappie is definitely an Aura product, but is no longer owned or controlled by Aura.

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