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Artificial Intelligence Drama Ensemble Topic

artificial-intelligenceFor my Year 12 Drama students’ ensemble performance this semester, I have written a structure sheet on the topic of artificial intelligence. Some of the world’s biggest companies are today using artificial intelligence programs to achieve important tasks – and it’s not just the self-driving Google car around the streets of California. We may not be on the futuristic set of Blade Runner just yet, but AI has reached the point where it is thinking intelligently in order to replicate the human brain and copy, in some cases exceed, human thought and behaviour. The future of artificial intelligence is now. Before we know it, lawmakers will be playing catch up with the results of artificially intelligent projects across the globe. As with many technologies, there is often a dark side. Will AI be used for wrongdoing? Only time will tell.

Setting
Any location – past, present and future.

Performance Style
Theatre of Cruelty

Prescribed Non-Naturalistic Conventions
Transformation of character, time, place and object.

Dramatic and Stagecraft Elements
Mood
Rhythm
Space
Sound
Costume
Props

Note: sound must be achieved through voice, body, interaction with objects, use of technology.

Background
Artificial intelligence (AI) in practice is the ability of computer systems to perform tasks normally undertaken by humans, thus being capable of human behaviour. Although AI has existed for some decades, many believe this field of knowledge has now advanced to the point where computers can think autonomously from humans. Recently, several of the world’s most intelligent and respected computer scientists have warned of the power of artificial intelligence.

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A number of pressing questions now exist:

  • Can computer systems now sufficiently mimic the human brain in order to think intelligently?
  • Is there examples of artificially intelligent behaviour superior to that of humans?
  • Will lawmakers need to shape the current and future role of artificial intelligence?
  • Will AI be used purely for worthy purposes?
  • Will a dark side of artificial intelligence inevitably exist, leading to immoral, unethical, dangerous and even illegal uses of the technology?
  • Will humans be able to control all decisions made by artificially intelligent machines?

Plot
Your performance must include scenes documenting the following:

  • The history of AI and early developments.
  • Current uses of AI that are generally well-known in the wider community.
  • Current uses of AI existing on the fringe and/or cutting edge of this technology, mostly unknown in the wider community.
  • Examples of AI use you consider immoral or unethical.
  • The challenge for lawmakers in relation to AI.
  • Positive potential uses for AI in the future.
  • Negative potential uses for AI in the future.
  • Decisions humankind must make about AI.

Students are expected to research and use terminology in their performance belonging to the field of artificial intelligence. Typical terms include, but are not limited to: deep learning, (autonomous) agents, cognitive science, machine learning, neural networks, intelligent entities, analogical reasoning, case-based reasoning, data mining, natural language processing, Turing test, and machine reasoning.

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