The Zeitgeist project is based on a machine learning system. Sacred texts, respective in form of psalms of all great religions (bible, thora, coran, …) are used to feed this artificial intelligence to generate new forms of psalms and truisms from that input. As we replace the authorship with a machine algorithm, it poses the question of credibility, origin and not at least the very personal decision in what we decide to believe in.
The essence of Zeitgeist A.I. is an artificial neural network, that basically consists of nodes and connection. Each node represents a unique noun or a verb while the connections show how those elements are connected with one another. Through training data, this system is capable to evolve similar to how the human brain works, but in a very simplified way. Based on the existing word constellations of the network, the A.I. is capable to create sentences or poems with the help of grammar algorithms and a trained database of sentence building blocks.
n the first version, the system was programmed to combine several fragments from actual psalm texts to create some kind of mashup from this input. Although some results were pretty interesting the narrative was still odd. The psalms needed to be translated in a more contemporary form, so with the help of a Twitter API and some simple grammar algorithms, the Zeitgeist Algorithm was able to form interesting chains of small sentences containing content of psalms but translated into contemporary speech.
Artificial intelligence is often associated with singularity. If we leave out the dystopian aspect of this association, there is a bare fascination and blindfolded believe in the machine as a god. To underline this aspect, i started to create consumer products inbetween a religious, drug related and self optimization context. Although all products contain placebo indgrediences they provoke a specific subcultural context which conflicts with their selling in museum shops and art galleries.
Each product contains a generated psalm, suitable artwork and a disclaimer in form of qr code.
the confession ticket machine
With a self chosen amount of money, the user can recieve a personal Ticket of advices, compliments or suggestions. These advices origin from an archive of tweet fragments related to specific hashtags, around self optimization, self improvement, wellness or just daily thought and poems of users. This collection is connected to the neuronal network of the Zeitgeist project, which assembles them together. Depending on the amount of money inserted, the advices are more superficial (less budget) or discoursive (high budget).
extended consumer products* (future idea)
The extension of the Zeitgeist project with merchandising products brings the key questions of the project to an interactive level. With a small amount of donation, the user decides in what way to participate with this shell of sacred fragments. In reference to the style of function of the central algorithm, all products can be seen as fragments from all great religions, mixed up with todays health, wellness advertisement linguistics.
stock market of emotion* (future idea)
Though the behavior of an artifial neural network is quiet unpredictable, all its components are still in a plausible constellation to each other and in extend: to be calculated by the machine. Let us pretend to open up a stock market for human emotions – with a specific amount of money, one might trust in the development of a specific emotion during time. How one particual emotion evolves depends on those investments, but also on the participants of the project who use the Zeitgeist A.I. to learn more about themselves.
A possible scenario might be to open up a stock exchange system based on digital currency at first for a period of time.