WOLVERHAMPTON LITERATURE FESTIVAL
FRIDAY 26TH - SUNDAY 28TH JANUARY 2018
WOLVERHAMPTON ART GALLERY
Friday 26th Jan - 4.30pm
As part of the 2018 Wolverhampton Literature Festival, a Twitter Newspeak Bot inspired by George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four has been created by the University of Wolverhampton in collaboration with Birmingham-based AI and chatbot specialists Daden Ltd. The Newspeak Bot turns Twitter feeds, such as those by Donald Trump, BBC News and Number 10 Downing Street, into Newspeak, the language of control Orwell invented for the totalitarian state in his dystopian classic.
The Newspeak Bot ‘translates’ tweets by, for instance, the current American president: ‘Only Oceania is forever doubleplusgood. Eastasia and Eurasia are weak and oldthinkful.” Or for Number 10 saying: ‘Airstrip 1 will proceed speedfully with unEurope.’ Recent tweets include one of Trump:
Professor Sebastian Groes (English Literature, University of Wolverhampton), the project’s lead academic, said: “Many feel we are currently living in a dystopia not far removed from Nineteen Eighty-Four. We seem to be ruled by megalomaniac world leaders of superstates at perpetual war with one another, who are producing communications radically divorced from reality. Like Big brother, some of these leaders enjoy a cult of personality; they seek, in Orwell’s words, "power entirely for its own sake. [They are] not interested in the good of others." Or we seem governed by elitist political parties whose privileged rule feels tyrannical because other voices are excluded. Just as in Orwell’s nightmare, memory is weakened by information overload and other strategies of distraction; technology thrashes coherent thought; personal and sexual relationships are randomly assembled by computers; we are merely chunks of information collected in databases.”
This project addresses this perceived crisis through the creation of Newspeak translations of Twitter feeds by the key protagonists in this situation. At the festival, the Bot’s designer David Burden (Daden Ltd), Dr Sarah Slater (Computer Science, Wolverhampton) and Groes will debate the project during this special event
For more information:
Sebastian Groes, Professor in English Literature, School of Humanities, City Campus North - MX112b, Camp Street, University of Wolverhampton, Wolverhampton WV1 1AD, firstname.lastname@example.org, Office: +44(0)1902 322863, Mobile:+44(0)7947 365025
Daden Limited specialises in 3D, VR, chatbot and AI technologies, principally within the areas of training, education and information exploration and management. Daden have been developing chatbots for over 10 years, and have been involved in two successful covert Turing Tests – where users have failed to tell a chatbot from a human. More information about Daden can be found at http://www.daden.co.uk.