Our Friends Electric, the alter ego machines


Artificial Intelligence has found its place in the hearts of artists and designers much more than it seems to have done in the average population. The “living machine” has become a place of illusion in confidence and disillusion when the underlying automation emerges, but holds the charm of a reactive, apparently sentient, entity. “Our Friends Electric” is a short movie by Superflux speculative design studio, staging three different variations of future voice-activated AI assistants. The first, ”Eddi”, is transparent about his need to understand, posing a lot of naive and childlike “why?” questions, and applying the acquired knowledge with alternate results. The second, “Karma”, executes tasks on the user’s behalf, with on-the-spot controlled variations of tone and character. The third, “Sig”, is hacked to understand and share the user’s cultural background, until its other programmed aspects emerge. In the end, the more the devices become the user’s alter ego, the more they become attractive, revealing their basic universal properties.


Superflux – Our Friends Electric