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John Sharp (thesis advisor)
David Carroll (thesis advisor)
Stephanie McNiel (designer)


May 11 2016


Our technology plays a crucial role in defining the human landscape. Far from simple tools, the computational systems that exist today are intelligent and globally networked. This affects the narration we construct of ourselves and the world we live in. If language is the process of transmitting information from one mind to another, this transmission is manifested in a complex recursive entanglement of communication transcribed by our media and technology. Savage Diction is a short film narrated by artificial intelligence. It is a curated collection of media artifacts, narrated by an intelligent computational system. This narration is generated by machine learning, a subdomain of artificial intelligence, through the process of object recognition and natural language processing. Different interpretations are algorithmically generated by training the machine learning models on separate databases of textual artifacts and range from released Hilary Clinton emails to a corpus of romance novels. By interjecting these narratives into the film, a visual investigation is created. One that embodies the significance of data used to train intelligent systems, the contextual associations that emerge from the process of intelligent algorithms, and the shifting definition of culture that results when artificial intelligence becomes a key producer of cultural artifacts.



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