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    REVIEW OF MINDY MENG WANG’S GUÀI AT FOOTSCRAY COMMUNITY ARTS

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    By Taylor Navarro 

    In these past months, Artificial Intelligence (AI) has become more relevant than ever with the rise of websites like ChatGPT. The technology can provide solutions to all sorts of tasks saving you hours of research time. But how many of us question where the solutions are really coming from? Is the efficiency of AI testing our ability to think critically, creatively and explore.

    Renowned interdisciplinary artist Mindy Meng Wang was struck by this question when she saw Melbourne University’s Biometric Mirror. It uses AI to analyse physical features and emotions to apply labels to them. She became fascinated with the way young people reacted to the mirror. 

    ‘If the AI told them something positive, like that they were attractive, they reacted incredibly well,’ she says. ‘However, if the AI told them something they didn’t want to hear, they got upset and emotional. The one thing they didn’t do was question how these conclusions came to be.’

    So together with Monica Lim, and working with Melbourne University, she created the ultimate art-meets-science experience to prompt people to think critically about AI technology.

    Last month the public was invited to experience the world of Guài, an augmented-reality mirror which ‘reads’ your physical and emotional features to turn you into a monster. 

    I was transformed into Tao Wu, the most horrifying and vicious monster of the Shan Hai Jing mythology. Tao Wu was large and slightly grotesque and sounded like multiple instruments crashing at once. It was chaotic, and fun, and the more I moved the more sound I made.

    Obviously, I doubt that I’m actually as weird or horrifying as monster me but that’s exactly the point. It was an entertaining way to learn more about the world of AI and question the role technology plays in our lives. 

    Unfortunately Guài is not coming back to Footscray Community Arts but you can read more about Mindy Meng Wang here – https://footscrayarts.com/2023/09/meet-artist-mindy-meng-wang-guai/

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