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The Machine Vision project receives funding for a LARP and an exhibition

The ERC project MACHINE VISION has received funding from the Norwegian Research Council to develop a live action role-playing game and an exhibition at the University Museum.

Blurry blue image showing a crowd of people with green boxes superimposed on the image, suggesting some kind of machine vision.
The LARP and exhibition will give participants practice in thinking critically and ethically about new technologies, especially machine vision.
Photo:
Colourbox

The main goal of the Machine Vision LARP and the exhibition is to increase the public's knowledge of machine vision (eg face recognition, emotion recognition, deepfakes, automatic image manipulation) and to create situations where a general audience can practice their ethical judgment in relation to these new algorithmic visual technologies.

"New technologies are evolving so rapidly that society is unable to develop ethical guidelines or regulation quickly enough," the project team wrote in their application. "Therefore, we need individuals who are trained in making ethical assessments about the use of new technology. This role-playing game and exhibition will allow participants to experience ethical dilemmas where they have to make choices and negotiate with others, and where they can play out possible consequences of their choices."

The exhibition is being developed in collaboration with the recently re-opened University Museum, and is planned to be a temporary exhibition, probably to be held in 2021. It will be designed as an experiential labyrinth where the visitor moves through a series of ethical challenges. The goal is to create experiences in interaction with technology, using art installations and other interactive stations, so that the visitors consider ethical situations and think through possible choices. There will also be explanations of how the technologies work, and of ethical problems and cultural consequences of machine vision. 

Marianne Gunderson will be the project manager for the LARP. LARPing, or live action roleplaying, is a well-established method that uses drama pedagogy and simulation to let participants play out situations, and thus it is a good methodology for practicing ethical competence. The development will take place in collaboration with expert LARP-writers, and there will be several small pilot LARPs during 2020 and 2021. The plan is to arrange a large LARP, over three days, where the first and last day are used for topical lectures, discussions and debriefing, and the LARP takes place on the second day. In addition, a smaller LARP will be developed that can be completed in 3-4 hours without much equipment or preparation from the participants, and that can be conducted as a workshop in different settings and different groups of people. For the latter, the team will collaborate with NORA, the Norwegian Artificial Intelligence Research Consortium.