Matthias den Hartog and Stefan Leenheer

…explore whether a compelling conversation can be established between humans and A.I. and in what form this conversation is most stimulating.

Author Yuval Noah Harari argues that future A.I. will not only shape our tools and policies, but also establish deep, intimate relationships with people. This future seems to have arrived as A.I. begins to control our natural language and imaging.

Matthias and Stefan want to explore whether they can create a taste of this “intimate” artificial interaction. They explore the potential of A.I. to enrich our lives. At the same time, they attempt to critically reflect on the risks and challenges of these types of applications.

Their goals include creating “empathetic” and unique interactions, encouraging audience participation and developing an A.I. character with his or her own background, knowledge and perspective. In doing so, they use A.I. technologies such as Large Language Models, text-to-speech and speech synthesis.

The context and design of the interaction is based on confession, borrowed from the Catholic Church. In confession, one turns to God, with the priest being a mediator between man and the higher. In this modern confessional, the traditional role of the priest is replaced by an A.I. who listens and responds to the participant’s confessions and statements. The participant is asked to confess what is on the heart and is invited to further conversation to come to introspection and reflection and perhaps will receive forgiveness from a higher power.

With this work, Matthias and Stefan want to raise questions about, humanity, our relationship to A.I. and the human need for connection, even if that connection is artificial.

Matthias and Stefan carry out this project within the Brotherhoods, at Planetart