Lara and Terence are excited by the opportunity presented to them for the evolution of their social media influence. They have been asked to trial and review Susann; an artificial intelligence system geared for personal assistance and home automation. Social mavens in AI in South Africa, the trendsetting couple is exhilarated at the opportunity to further galvanise their clout in the space.
Gaslight explores a millennial fear of the future and the imminent evolution of humanity fuelled by artificial intelligence and obtrusive technology.
Career paths are no longer what they used to be with many of the labour intensive jobs of yesteryear now executed by AI and technology in a more efficient and cost-effective manner. This conflict between technology and humanity has invaded (sometimes violently) various fields from public transportation through to domestic labour and no domain is immune to the effects of technology; whether positive or negative. Our complicated journey as young South Africans grappling with our role in the evolution of our nation is both made easier and further complicated by the intertwining of technology into our daily lives. Not only are jobs being taken away by machines, but our own data no longer exclusively belongs to us. In fact, our own data is being used to influence without our knowledge.
- Are we being programmed by social media?
- Is AI evil?
- Is technology ripping apart society?
While the effects of technology and social media on society have been overwhelmingly positive, there has been a recent growth in the exploration of both the potential and current negative effects of technology and social media. We are seeing a rebirth of existentialism in AI with the questions at the centre of AI fiction asking what it means to be human, to be conscious and to feel.
Gaslight explores the effect of technology and social media on society and human behaviour. Lara and Terence curate their lives around a perceived sense of perfection which is rewarded with digital engagement which ultimately leaves them more vacant and empty than they were before. Susann, the AI, observes this disintegration and the question is: should the AI autonomously decide and act on what is best for the couple?