Conception of a conversational AI as part of an immersive installation - QC-456

Project type: Research
Desired discipline(s): Engineering - computer / electrical, Engineering, Gender and sexuality studies, Social Sciences & Humanities, Interactive arts and technology
Company: Club Sexu
Project Length: 6 months to 1 year
Preferred start date: As soon as possible.
Language requirement: Flexible
Location(s): Montreal, QC, Canada; Canada
No. of positions: 1
Desired education level: Master'sPhDPostdoctoral fellow
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About the company: 

Club Sexu is a non-profit media and organization whose mission is to raise awareness with young adults about a more positive and inclusive vision of sexuality. To do so, Club Sexu specializes in creating original content, sharing realistic and diverse sexual models, and creating events and environments that promote safe and stimulating exchanges around different dimensions of sexuality and its representations.

Club Sexu distinguishes itself by combining the expertise of communication specialists (designers, content creators, visual artists, etc.) with the knowledge of sexual health professionals (sexologists, researchers, doctors, psychosocial workers, etc.) in order to offer content that is both relevant and enticing.

As part of the You can call me Max project, we will be working in partnership with Phi Centre, Les Brigands, creative studios and experts in data science and artificial intelligence.

Describe the project.: 

The research project consists of the conceptualization and production of a non-binary conversational artificial intelligence system (chat bot), which will act as a narrative guide and main character of the multi-platform installation project You can call me Max (YCCMM).

YCCMM is an immersive experience of 10 installations that proposes a unique look at the complex cartography of intimacy, sexuality and erotic desire in the era of algorithmic and too often binary technologies. Bringing together a diversity of artists, technologists, designers and studios from Montreal, the goal is to open a collective reflection on the presence of eroticism and sexuality in private, public, physical and digital spaces. An innovative, creative exhibition that inspires conversation and puts forward the talents and digital expertise that Montreal has to offer.

The experience is guided by MAX, an AI entity (complex conversational chatbot), fed by the emotional intelligence and interactions of the visitors. MAX, our guide and interlocutor, invites us to visit and interact with 10 installations - MAX responds, provokes and questions us: what place do digital influences take in our desires? What does the tracking and tracing of online practices tell us about our desires, our fantasies, our conformity? Like sponges subject to the codes and languages that are proposed to us, are we still masters of our own desires?

In the context of this project, the intern will work with Club Sexu and its partners Phi Centre, Les Brigands and the collective of artists, technologists and researchers who constitute the team (experts in sexuality and sociology, designers, artists of the digitalization of identities, data scientists, etc). The main activities will be: participating in the conceptualization of the conversational chatbot system; identifying, systematizing and prioritizing data; identifying chatbot services (used or to be created); setting up the AI (recognition engines, NLP and machine learning); refining the conversational scenarios, testing and training the bot.

We plan to combine interactive scripting practices with chat bot gpt2 or QNA maker systems. We wish to integrate the tracking of data in relation to the interactions of the users with the space, and with the installations. Finally, to follow our collaborative approach’s guidelines, we want to integrate the trainee in the parameter design of MAX, in collectivity, to democratize and solidify the production.

Required expertise/skills: 

We are looking for someone with a specialization in data science, computer science or artificial intelligence, and with at least a master's degree (ideally a PhD). Note that we are also open to collaborating with a postdoctoral researcher. The candidate must possess skills in chat bot creation and/or megadata management systems. Knowledge of gpt2, gpt3, python, Azure, QNA maker is desired (but not required). Interest in digital creations, interactive and immersive installations, social sciences, and inclusive practices is an asset, as is an interest in and ability to work with large multidisciplinary teams (sexologists, technologists, digital artists, and large-scale exhibitions producers).