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“The Latent Future” [2017]

TOKUI Nao + DOZONO Shoya (Qosmo)

“The Latent Future”


Embedded in the 3-D space in this video next to news of actual past events are almost limitless amounts of texts of various kinds. Based on these real news, news of things that could happen or could have happened are generated.

By focusing on the nearly endless possible combinations of texts incorporated in language models, this work addresses the fragility of a society in which reality and fiction are mixed, as is prominently expressed in today’s Internet environments among others. Artificial intelligence (AI) has been fed with large amounts of past news*, and continuously receives news feeds from Twitter, based on which it generates and presents new, alternative news of things embedded in neural networks that “already exist” but have “not yet happened.” Like in Jorge Luis BORGES’s The Library of Babel that contains all possible combinations of words, these news contain large amounts of composed fictional news, as a result of which the line between fact and fiction is blurred.

The three-dimensional space in the display contains 3-D mappings of each sentence’s high-dimensional “latent feature” vectors (representing the sentence’s characteristics translated into a sequence of numbers), whereas distances within the latent space correspond with the semantic distances between the sentences.

*partly taken from “CD-Mainichi Shimbun 2016 Data Collection”

Sound: SAWAI Taeji
Assistant Programming: KAJIHARA Yuma, Robin JUNGERS



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