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Janet Cardiff's 'Forty-Part Motet'

As the song ended, there were three minutes of intermission. The speaker I happened to be next to started playing a conversation between two boys who sounded nine or ten. They were talking about their watches, how one should turn off his alarm before the song started, and everything about their dialogue was so pure and innocent. It was some of the best eavesdropping I’ve ever done.

These speakers only contained recordings of people, but that itself was enough to move me. Can technology have emotions without humans, or is emotion inherently human? Can computers make stories that move us with algorithms or is a human author needed? If stories all have the same basic structure, what compels us to continue to write them? The human need to share and validate emotions, I suppose. We all love being related to. It’s what sells the most- when a brand shows a scenario that we’ve all been through. It’s what advertisers love calling themselves- ‘storytellers’, and it’s actually what we all naturally are.

May 04, 2018