Conversation piece: a speech-based interactive art installation

Wright, A., Linney, A., Evans, A. and Lincoln, M. 2007. Conversation piece: a speech-based interactive art installation. Augsburg, Germany

CreatorsWright, A., Linney, A., Evans, A. and Lincoln, M.
Description

A speech-based interactive art installation creating an intelligent room that can hold conversations with its occupants. Wright's project poses the fundamental question: is meaningful social interaction with a machine possible? Art/science collaboration with

UCL and University of Edinburgh. Conversation Piece is a speech-based interactive art installation (approx 10m x 12m) that enables individual audience members

to apparently converse with the gallery space itself (see portfolio/URL for details).

This work built on Wright’s previous art/science research to explore, via artistic practice, issues of interactivity and response

through spoken language. The installation created a transparent interface between the virtual and the 'real' using synthesised

spoken voice and concealed microphone arrays. Conversation Piece follows in the tradition of chatbots such as Eliza and

Jabberwacky, although by using spoken voice and intelligently constructed conversations, it significantly improves the user's

experience of identification and communication with the machine. The installation is broadly accessible, and aims to raise

questions about human/machine interaction that equally interest scientists, technologists and art audiences.

The work was tested on audiences at several key stages of development – both to enable further development of the technology

and the artificial intelligence, and to determine audience response. It was on public exhibition (alongside 9 other artists) at

Augsburg, a key venue for this field, where Wright and Lincoln also presented their research findings. Other presentations

include Toronto (May 2007) and UCL (April and November 2007).

Conversation Piece represents a major body of interdisciplinary research in computer generated speech and language

recognition, which is being carried out in collaboration with UCL and the Department of Speech and Language, Edinburgh

University (a world leader for speech technologies). It was enabled through an AHRC Arts Science Fellowship and a Wellcome

Trust Sci-Art production award. It is the first collaboration between an artist, scientist and cutting-edge computer technologist on

this scale and formed an AHRC case study of good practice in Art-Science Collaborations.

Date2007
Keywordsinterdisciplinar, human-computer interaction, speech, art-science, transparent interface
Web address (URL)http://www.ucl.ac.uk/conversation-piece
Publication dates
Completed2007

Related outputs

Hybrid Bodies laser talk
Wright, A. and Carnie, Andrew Hybrid Bodies laser talk. London Laser 23. Central St Martins, London 18 Oct 2017

British Journal of Psychiatry, cover image
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Heart of the Matter PHI exhibition
Wright, A. Heart of the Matter PHI exhibition. Montreal

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Wright, A. Heart of the Matter - The Flesh of the World. Toronto

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Wright, A. Not Gone Not Forgotten. Winchester

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Wright, A. 2019. Still Live.

Sutured Selves, Remapping the Boundaries between our bodies, our selves and our kin
Wright, A. and Redler Hawes, Hannah 2019. Sutured Selves, Remapping the Boundaries between our bodies, our selves and our kin. Representing the Medical Body. London Science Museum 28 Mar 2019

Hybrid Bodies Chiasma Exhibition
Wright, A. 2018. Hybrid Bodies Chiasma Exhibition. The Winchester Gallery, Hampshire

Papworth Hospital Heart Transplant Recipient Workshop
Wright, A. 2018. Papworth Hospital Heart Transplant Recipient Workshop.

When Words Fail, an interdisciplinary investigation into the phenomenological effects of heart transplantation
Wright, A. 2018. When Words Fail, an interdisciplinary investigation into the phenomenological effects of heart transplantation. Art Materiality and Representation (Royal Anthropological Society). British Museum/ SOAS, London 01 - 03 Jun 2018

Messy entanglements: research assemblages in heart transplantation discourses and practices
Shildrick, M., McKeever, P., Abbey, S., Poole, J., Wright, A., Bachmann, I., Carnie, A., Ross, H., Jan, E., De Luca, E., Dal Bo, Dana and El Sheikh, T. 2018. Messy entanglements: research assemblages in heart transplantation discourses and practices. Medical Humanities. 44 (1), pp. 46-54. doi:10.1136/medhum-2017-011212

BBC Radio 4: interview and excerpts of audio from Heart of the Matter in Print Me A new Body programme
Wright, A. 2017. BBC Radio 4: interview and excerpts of audio from Heart of the Matter in Print Me A new Body programme. BBC Radio 4.

Art/Sci Nexus, 9 Evenings Revisited
Wright, A. and Carnie, Andrew 2016. Art/Sci Nexus, 9 Evenings Revisited. 9 Evenings Revisited, in Theory as in Practice. KKW, Leipzig, Germany

Visual Narratives of Embodied Experience at RPsych Conference
Wright, A. 2016. Visual Narratives of Embodied Experience at RPsych Conference. Royal College of Psychiatrists Annual Conference. Cardiff 25 - 27 Apr 2016

Phantom Limb
Wright, A. 2016. Phantom Limb. Victoria Museum and Gallery, Liverpool

Hybrid Bodies at KKW
Wright, A. 2016. Hybrid Bodies at KKW. Kunstkraftwerk, Leipzig, Germany

Seeing Things As They Are : Visual Narratives of Embodied Experience
Wright, A. 2016. Seeing Things As They Are : Visual Narratives of Embodied Experience. Disability, Arts and Health Conference. University of Bergen, Norway 01 - 02 Sep 2016

Hybrid Bodies
Wright, A. 2016. Hybrid Bodies. Silent Signal. University of Derby, Derby 26 Feb 2017

Piecing it Together
Wright, A. 2016. Piecing it Together. St Pancras Hospital.

There's So Much More I Want To Tell You
Wright, A. 2016. There's So Much More I Want To Tell You. Visions in The Nunnery, Bow, London

Piecing It Together Blog
Wright, A. 2015. Piecing It Together Blog.

Heart of the Matter
Wright, A. 2014. Heart of the Matter. London

Cadenza
Wright, A. 2014. Cadenza.

Monstrosity: the human monster in visual culture
Wright, A. 2013. Monstrosity: the human monster in visual culture. London I.B. Tauris.

A View From Inside
Wright, A. 2012. A View From Inside. London White Card.

A view from inside: portraying the experience of psychosis
Wright, A. 2012. A view from inside: portraying the experience of psychosis. Harris Gallery, Preston

Cover story
Wright, A. 2010. Cover story. DaDaFest International, St George, Liverpool

Alter Ego
Wright, A. 2010. Alter Ego. Kreuzberg, Bethanien, Berlin, Germany

After Image
Wright, A. 2010. After Image. 21_21 Design Sight Gallery, Tokyo, Japan

Conversation Piece
Wright, A., Linney, A. and Lincoln, M. 2009. Conversation Piece. Ormeau Baths Gallery, Belfast

Out of Order
Wright, A. 2009. Out of Order.

Alter ego
Wright, A. and Linney, A. 2008. Alter ego. BM Suma Gallery, Istanbul, Turkey

Opera interna
Wright, A. 2008. Opera interna. Centro the Historia , Zaragoza, Spain

Cover story
Wright, A. 2008. Cover story. Bow Arts Trust, London

Alter Ego
Wright, A. and Linney, A. 2007. Alter Ego. SESI Art Gallery, Sao Paulo, Brazil

Semblance and resemblance: the face in art and medicine
Wright, A. and Clarke, A. 2007. Semblance and resemblance: the face in art and medicine. Intersections of Life and Death: Artistic and Philosophical Representations of Organ Donation and Transplantation Conference. University of Toronto 26 - 27 Apr 2007

Opera interna: first act
Wright, A. 2007. Opera interna: first act. Incheon Multicultural Centre, Korea

Interactivity and identification: alter ego and conversation piece
Wright, A. 2007. Interactivity and identification: alter ego and conversation piece. FILE Symposium. SESI Arts Centre, Sao Paolo, Brazil 14 - 17 Aug 2007

Interactivity and identification: a discussion of conversation piece and other recent works
Wright, A. 2007. Interactivity and identification: a discussion of conversation piece and other recent works. Healthcare, Technology and Place Conference. University of Toronto 03 - 04 May 2007

'I'
Wright, A. 2007. 'I'. National Portrait Gallery, Edinburgh

Cover story
Wright, A. 2006. Cover story. The Forum, Norwich

At the edge of my-self
Wright, A. 2003. At the edge of my-self. Digital Creativity. 14 (3), pp. 139-143. doi:10.1076/digc.14.3.139.27869

Intimate strangers
Wright, A. 2003. Intimate strangers. London, UK CARTE, University of Westminster.

'I'
Wright, A. 2001. 'I'. Public Culture: society for transnational cultural studies. 13 (3), pp. 506-510.

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