Deep Sophia

Deep Sophia is an interactive video installation that explores the intersection of artificial intelligence, 'deep fakes', and emotion capture. Utilizing facial recognition technology, the Sophia Robot is mapped onto the faces of women from historical films - Dreyer’s Joan of Arc, Fritz Lang’s Metropolis, Eisenstein’s The General Line, Hitchock’s Psycho. Rather than a traditional ‘close-up,’ Deep Sophia amplifies the way that machine learning produces a deeply strange form of human-robot expression. The actor is better at facial expression than the robot, while the robot effortlessly wraps itself like a garment around the actor. The human becomes the machinery for the robot’s artificial emotion, just as a snake takes on the shape of its prey as it swallows it, morphing as it digests.

The viewer’s face is incorporated into the film installation in real-time through a web cam and is surrounded by a mash-up of videos of Sophia Robot ‘close-ups’ while their own face is integrated into the installation in various moments. As the visitor looks from left to right at the screen, they watch their own face further warp the faces on screen.

Exhibition/Screening history:

Slamdance Film Festival 2023, Digital and Interactive Program, Park City, Utah

60th Ann Arbor Film Festival, Off Screen section, March 2022 (Three channel version)

26th Videomedeja Media Arts Festival, in competition, Media Projects section, Novi Sad, October 2022 (Single channel version)

Light Matter Festival, Time Space Interface Gallery, Alfred, NY, November 2022 (Three channel version)

Mark ︎