Who Are I EmotiTactor

Protect me from what I want

Shirley Leung

Alternative Realities: “Protect me from what I want” is an ongoing conversation with participants about generative narratives of race, identity, and privilege in the Asian American community. This project interrogates our relationship with technology by using computer predictions as an extension to control our own futures. When we think about decision making, we tend to make decisions based on a vision of an ideal future. I want to better understand how diverse immigrant experiences in the Asian American community affect possible visions of the futures that we envision for ourselves. The choices of our ancestors were largely shaped by society and their immigrant experiences. Today, these choices permeate even as we turn increasingly towards technology to aid us in decision making. I’m interested in this dynamic and the pervasive power of technology on our own decision-making abilities about our future. How much can we try to control now and how much is already constrained by society? Perhaps this desire to control alludes back to this idea; we can only gain control when we choose to let go.

This is an output of an algorithm that generates alternative realities.

“So I’ve been thinking a lot about this and I’ve always been curious about this idea of happiness. How would you want to become happy? How would you achieve happiness? So I’ve always been curious about this idea of happiness.  I think that it can be a sign of weakness to have a zipper on, but I think also a sign of strength. I think a zipper on is a bad sign. I think a bad sign is, it would be nice to be able to wear glasses and things that show emotion in, but I think that emotion can be a vehicle to allow you to be who you are and show emotion in a way that, I don’t think we can see that in a world where humans are supposed to be, you know, very persistent, very outgoing,   and I think that,   I also think that, you know, this is a Western idea of happiness and it’s always been a Western idea of happiness. And in many ways,  Asian-American there, middle class to lower middle class. I think that there’s more to it than ethnicity.   I think that there’s a lot to it am thinking about, it actually does make”

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Shirley is a creative technologist, multimedia artist, and interdisciplinary designer based in NY. In her current work, she speculates about alternative realities using machine learning so we can reconsider our relationships with ourselves and technology.