Vault of Dreams.
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Insight, Idea × Concept.
In June 2022, The Washington Post published an article in which Google engineer Blake Lemoine reported that he strongly believes that the artificial intelligence LaMDA (a language processing technology) has developed its own consciousness. The newspaper published the 21-page interview Lemoine conducted as a test with the AI, which actually gives the impression that Lemoine was not talking to a machine but to a real human being. The AI LaMDA (short for Language Model for Dialogue Applications) impressively shows how powerful AI already is in the field of speech processing today. This is the basis of the following exploration and idea that started from the questions:
What can we do with an artificial intelligence in a creative process if the AI can actually understand and use language like a human (and at the same time can do things that we humans are not able to do, as the machine can process enormous amounts of data at an unimaginable speed)? What real and uniquely value can we create for humans with such technology, if we dare to think far beyond what has already been done with AI?
The Vault of Dreams is a virtual safe where every person in the world can store their dreams. The AI DREAVER is part of the vault – and writes a story out of all the dreams that are stored in the vault.
Every person can store one or more dreams in the vault. You can decide if you want to store a dream, a broken dream or a nightmare in the vault. All dreams contain up to 240 characters, which can be entered as text (or via speech to text). Afterwards, you receive a unique visual key. Since dreams are stored anonymously in the vault and no one has access to them, it is important to keep this unique key, because: The key can be used to see where DREAVER embedded your dream in the overall story the AI is writing. To read the overall story that DREAVER writes from all the dreams in the vault, you don't need a key, nor do you need to have a dream stored by yourself in the vault. The story is freely accessible to all people worldwide via the project website.
DREAVER extracts everything needed to write it’s story from the dreams in the vault: The AI not only creates the story's protagonists, characters, events, and locations from the dreams. Since you can store a dream, broken dream or a nightmare in the vault, DREAVER gets all the basic narrative building blocks needed to write the story: Goals and motivations ("dream") of a character, obstacles and conflicts they have to overcome ("broken dream"), fears and hopes ("nightmare") that push a character to action and make it unique. What makes the writing process so special and truly unique is that DREAVER always writes the story in two directions at the same time: Ongoing and regressive. With each new dream stored in the vault, the story does not simply continue to be written at its current end. DREAVER identifies if new dreams are related to dreams already processed in the story, weaves new dreams into the already told story and adjusts afterwards all contents in the already existing text wherever it is necessary. In this way DREAVER writes the first story in the world that is not only really alive, constantly in motion and further development, it is also at the same time the first story that is truly infinite: With every new dream stored in the vault, DREAVER continues to tell its story. The first story in the world, which can only be told by an AI.
Storytelling is one of the oldest cultural techniques of mankind. Being able to tell a story is one of the aspects that answer the question: What does it mean to be human? With DREAVER, for the first time a machine demonstrates to a significant extent that it possesses this genuinely human ability. What this means for our understanding of concepts such as "being human" or "technology" is a question that will become increasingly important in the coming years in the context of the development of artificial intelligence.
As different as we all are, our cultures and biographies, genders and races, our views and the places where we live: We all dream. We all have goals and hopes, things that are important to us. And in these, we are all more alike than we might think. That, at least, is the hypothesis underlying The Vault of Dreams – which DREAVER could prove by writing the first living and infinite story of mankind.
Executive Creative Director Design.