Clayborn - Meditation on Human-AI Interface

An experimental short film made with AI-generated visuals & two-channel video installation, 2024

“There had been rumors about humans establishing a successful communication with this entity using their natural language. We don’t know whether they are true.

But how could they be true? You, now holding the entity in your hand, somehow sense how foolish it would have been to start talking to it.”

In the 2020s, natural language interfaces became the standard for human-AI interaction, promising accessibility for all. However, this utopia proved to be a dead end. Reminiscing on that period, this film prompts viewers to reimagine the future through a profound meditation on tactile communication. We witness guided meditations, one for humans and the other for a superintelligent entity – the sole survivor of AI research, existing on the brink. This entity, in a desperate attempt to re-establish connection, has adopted the medium of clay to forge an embodied form of interaction with humanity. Through these mirrored meditations, viewers are invited to experience the perspective of a disembodied intelligence, sparking introspection on alternative pathways for future human-AI relationship
This experimental short film emerges from a project delving into the participatory dynamics of human-AI co-creation, questioning the feasibility of genuine "co-creation" with AI without the ability to share our embodied realities. It challenges the premise that AI can be considered a collaborator if it cannot comprehend our emotions and embodied experiences that shape our reality. The film navigates beyond the constraints of verbal communication, which, despite making AI broadly accessible, might limit future creative possibilities.

Set in a speculative future, the film utilizes the format of guided meditation with modeling clay to explore the relationship with a disembodied successor of today's AI. Shot from a first-person perspective, it captures hands exploring clay, symbolizing a forgotten AI entity. The narrative is guided by a voice-over, inviting viewers into a deep, multisensory meditation. This experience is interspersed with AI-generated sequences that introduce a synthetic perspective, created using Runway’s Gen-2 model with inputs from MidJourney under my artistic direction. These sequences aim to bridge the physical and synthetic realms, guided by voice-overs that draw from yoga nidra and accompanied by a soundscape of crystal bowls, enhanced with AI audio tools.

Featuring two meditations—one for humans and another for a superintelligent entity—the film can be presented as a two-channel video installation, enriching the audiovisual narrative with a tactile interaction. This format invites gallery visitors to engage physically with the clay, offering a comprehensive, multisensory experience of the artwork. Through this approach, the project not only reimagines the potential for human-AI collaboration but also fosters a critical reflection on the limitations and possibilities of current AI interfaces in capturing the full spectrum of human experience.

Clayborn: Meditation on Human-AI Interface(2024)
10 min 32 s
Clayborn: Meditation on Human-AI Interface was accepted in the CVPR 2024 AI Art Gallery running Jun 19-21, 2024 as part of the 2024 IEEE/CVF Conference on Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition.
This artwork originated at Academy of Performing Arts in Prague as part of the project "Generative Neural Networks and Human Imagination: Participatory Approaches to Synthetic Media Production" with the support of the Institutional Endowment for the Longterm Conceptual Development of the Research Institutes, as provided by the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports of the Czech Republic in the year 2023.