June 8, 2005
Turbulence Spotlight: "Eliza Redux" by Adrianne Wortzel
"Eliza Redux" features a physical robot which, having passed the Turing test with flying colors, thinks it is a human psychoanalyst and persists in offering online pseudo- psychoanalytic sessions. Please help us to bring this robot to its sensors. Peer consultation is available in the Reception Area as well as archived sessions and other reference materials.
This human-robot interaction project is inspired by Joseph Weizenbaum’s 1966 M.I.T. computer program ELIZA, which allowed for text-based human conversation with a computer playing the role of a psychotherapist. Weizenbaum’s program was not meant to demonstrate intelligence, but to engage the user emotionally and intellectually in a simulation of artificial intelligence. In spite of the transparency of the program’s lack of intelligence, lab personnel were unable, or unwilling, to distinguish the machine from a human psychotherapist and became so dependent upon ELIZA for "therapeutic sessions" that eventually Weizenbaum had to withdraw its use.
Adrianne Wortzel’s work explores historical and cultural perspectives in
both physical and virtual networked environments as venues for interactive robotic and telerobotic installations, performance productions and texts. Recent projects have been made possible by funding from the PSC-CUNY Research Foundation, a National Science Foundation Award for developing robotics and theater, and a Franklin Furnace Fund for Performance Art Award. Wortzel is a Professor of Communication Design at New York City College of Technology/CUNY as well as a member of the doctoral faculty of the Interactive Technology and Pedagogy Certificate Program of the Graduate Center. She is also an Adjunct Professor of Mechanical Engineering at the Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art where she is also the Founding Director of StudioBlue, a fully equipped arena for creating telerobotic performance productions.
For more Turbulence Spotlights, please visit
Jo-Anne Green, Co-Director
New Radio and Performing Arts, Inc.: http://new-radio.org
New York: 917.548.7780 . Boston: 617.522.3856
New American Radio: http://somewhere.org
Networked_Performance Blog and Conference: http://turbulence.org/blog