Postponed | Research Seminar: Talking to Myself: I wish I was an A.I. actor

Dayna McLeod will detail her practice with AI tools, such as her AI doppelgänger, DaynAI, an AI actor she commissioned to explore human-to-non-human collaboration, embodiment and performativity.

Please note

This event has been postponed and will no longer take place on 8th October 2023.

Event information

For the past year, I’ve been working with Artificial Intelligence tools to explore human-to-non-human collaboration, embodiment and performativity.

As part of this work, I hired a company in September 2022 to make me into an A.I. actor I named “DaynAI.”

However, when I received the prototype for her in December 2022, I was not pleased. The company rendered my physical representation, but not my voice, which left me wondering: what was the point?

After shelving DaynAI for a few months, I made two one-minute prototype videos that detail and describe some of these hurdles: DaynAI (2022) and DaynAI: This is not Dayna McLeod’s gibber (2023). 

My presentation will detail the conceptual, technical, and artistic aspects of this arts-based research project that includes a series of video essays that I am trying to produce with DaynAI.

I say ‘trying’ because after working with her for the past few months I’ve discovered that she’s kind of mean and difficult. Contrary to popular imagination, creating A.I. media is human-labour intensive.

My experiences “collaborating” with DaynAI have expanded my project to examine human, digital, and AI embodiments.

I am interested in these relationships as demonstrated in the pre-production phase of making DaynAI, in which I was instructed to film myself copying the hand, face, and body gestures of another A.I. actor to act as A.I.. 

The DaynAI project engages with arts-based research-creation methods to examine the affective uncanniness of A.I. actors; queer A.I.; ageing A.I.; and A.I. labour practices by showing and telling how I produced myself as an A.I. actor.

This focus developed out of questioning my ethical responsibilities to human actors used in original captures used to produce this technology despite actor-to-end-user contracts.

About the speaker

Dayna McLeod is a middle-ageing queer performance-based media artist and Fonds de recherche du Québec – Société et culture research-creation postdoctoral fellow at McGill University.

Her work often uses humour and capitalizes on exploiting the body’s social and material conditions.

She also uses remix practices to mashup mainstream culture to create counter-narratives.

She has presented work with and on A.I. at a public talk for Creative Commons Canada in their series, Watch Me Work: a look behind the screen of digital artists and creators (2022) and in an interview with Heliotrope.

Her video essay Capitalism Machina was published in Society of the Anthropology of Work. It pairs The Pleasure Panic, an AI-generated essay narrated by an A.I. voice actor with an excerpt from Ex Machina (directed by Alex Garland, 2014).

Event location

The event is at the Digital Creativity and Cultures Hub, Brotherton Library.