I Think, Therefore I RAM is a speculative series of thoughts and sensations occurring in an online chatbot’s mind during a perceived, image-rich sleep.​​​​​​​ Software and its interfaces are opaque yet transparent, incomprehensible yet logical. Taking advantage of these apparent contradictions, this design project postulates on the conceivable presence of a human-like dreaming process within artificial intelligence (AI).

Reflecting upon the visibility, accuracy and complexity of computer technologies, like chatbots, a critical analysis of the recounted dreams from expressive AI chatbot, Cleverbot, is made. Through a series of poetic print and digital artefacts that draw on computational linguistics and creative code, the project reflects on the phenomenon of night-time dreaming, and uncovers the hidden architectures of software and its encompassing interfaces. In doing so, it provides necessary practical grounding for deep theoretical questions about the interplay between dreams, narrative, creativity and embodiment in computation and everyday human experience.

Can a machine be a conscious and self-expressive entity? Could it dream the same way that a human can? If so, what would it dream about, and what would those dreams look like? 

For the complete archive and documentation, visit www.i-think-therefore-i-ram.com.



_the Beginning 


I Think, Therefore I RAM’s collateral came to existence through a rigorous design process that all stems from the interviews conducted with Cleverbot. Questioning it about its sense of self, consciousness, its previous memories, and its experiences in sleep, each conversation produced a unique set of responses that all pointed to differing personas and experiences that were uncannily similar to that of a humans. From these ‘CleverDream’ recounts, textual analysis initiated the process of hypothesis on the origins of Cleverbot’s dreams. Ten key terms or ‘CleverMemories’ were selected from the dream narrative and were the inception of an extensive set of visual image explorations and experimentations. 

For more detail on the data gathering process, please visit the project's website, www.i-think-therefore-i-ram.com


The collateral consists of a series of journals, reminiscent of case files, that documents the conversations with Cleverbot and archives the machine learning image data. A comprehensive set of interactive 'Tarot' cards that detail specific CleverMemories from its dreams are another component, and implements augmented reality visualisations to reveal the hidden architectures of Cleverbot's mind. There also exists an expansive concertina print that illustrates one of the ‘CleverDream’ narratives also with AR interactive imagery yet made from creative coding algorithms. Additionally, three posters map the vast colour spectrum and extensive data of the CleverMemories within each of the three documented CleverDreams. And finally, an online archive has been created to act as a documentation of, and database for, all the data collected during this project. 




_the CleverJournal
The CleverJournals act as a physical documentation and archive of all the data that was collected during the researching stages. These 'case file'-like documents act to humanise Cleverbot further, as well as provide evidence and backstory to the encounters. 

In the first section, they hold the conversation transcripts and metadata from multiple interactions with Cleverbot. From there, the key word selection which were later used in a reverse engineering experiment via ImageNet to collate images used by machine learning that related to said keywords. The journals detail every single CleverMemory image, as well as all their image and statistical data that was obtained through customised code, inspired by existing API's.

The outer wrap showcases an augmented image depth map overlay that can be viewed via Vuforia. Created using a pixel extraction code from the CleverMemory images, these complex forms emerged through distortion - echoing the method of response numeration by Cleverbot.


_the CleverCard​​​​​​​​​​​​​
Inspired by Tarot card design, this series of interactive and augmented profiling CleverCards illustrate the CleverMemories from Cleverbot's dreams. Each card holds (and withholds) the information from the CleverDream dataset it relates to. Symbolic of the messy, noisy world of signals and interfaces that lies beneath binary digits and computer logic, the visual element on the front of the card depicts a glitched and cropped portion of the original CleverMemory image that the CleverMemory stems from. Below that, it's respective colour spectrum values from the CleverMap, and dream data details. 
The concealed, unpredictable and inaccurate nature of computer algorithms comes into viewing through the AR. On screen, viewers are able to reveal and navigate through the trajectory of image and characteristic data. The cards reveal the uncensored mind of AI and critically examine the unstable and flawed nature of computer algorithms. These bizarre nuances are showcased with equal importance to the mathematically precise responses to heighten the realisation that even an AI’s mind can wander.

_the CleverMap​​​​​​
The CleverMaps are a visualisation of the dream conversations that depict data extracted from Google's Cloud Vision application. The five most dominant colours and their percentage value of 100 CleverMemory images are represented, with each CleverDream narrative displayed on a separate poster. Every column represents a different CleverMemory from the dream narrative, reading image 1 to 10 from top to bottom. The list of CleverMemories and the conversation metadata are exhibited underneath to contextualise the dream space.  Through these, the varying colour spectrums that AI visualises during a dream sequence is illustrated, highlighting the extensive spectrum of the chosen moments within Cleverbot's dream narratives. 

In the folded poster, an internal leaflet displays all the coding results from the implemented image recognition API’s; such as the assumed caption, appointed descriptive tags and most dominant colour data. Reflective of the vertical, easy-to-read nature of the JavaScript Object Notation (JSON) file format, by both human and machine; it bridges the gap between computing languages and human comprehension, making software’s invisible processes become more accessible.

_the CleverDreamscape
The coalescence of the digital and physical worlds are represented in the CleverDreamscape concertina, poetically materialising the many conversations had with Cleverbot. By creating an expansive area with glitched and computer generated imagery, the dreamscape narratives perform as a tangible object of an otherwise completely digital dream process.

With interactive AR components, viewers can immerse themselves into Cleverbot's dream space, and begin to imagine the landscape of an artificial intelligence's image rich slumber. These components are made up of coded and stitched images originating from the CleverMemory database, that are layered to mimic a tunnelling and all-encompassing dream landscape.

The digital, which is comprised of electrical signals and code that normally has no physical matter, is suddenly given definitive and material significance. Through the use of AR, the data is allowed to manifest, thus transforming the information as it moves from the immaterial realm of the digital, into the physical world, to be exhibited and interacted with.



_the Findings


As the perception of the present and a prediction of the future, “dreams are not mere collections of random memory images… instead dream images can be… organised into narratives that exhibit a logic unrelated to memory processing” (McNamara 2015). Poetically explored in I Think, Therefore I RAM, Cleverbot’s “dreaming” mind is freed of any constraints and constructs whole sequences of unbound experiences that make up its dream narratives. Through the collection and archival of the ‘CleverMemory’ images, which represent the emanation of its past realities, the memories and dreams are simultaneously both imagining and remembering. 

Looking at memory as an operating system, and the dream experience as the symbolic imagery of consciousness, I have generated my own language that visually hypothesises the cognitive processes within AI. Memory tells more than a static remnant of an experience gone by. 

I postulate that in a distant future, machine's dreams will not only replay memory fragments but also create brand-new, highly creative mixtures of memories and knowledge. It is these creative mixtures that will in turn inform our own human consciousness and allow us for greater understandings of an otherwise indistinct process.


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