+ Development Process
WHAT DOES THE BOT SAY TO THE HUMAN? (2016-2017)
Data Mapping of 2016 U.S. Presidential Election Twitter Activity
Concept and Art Direction: Jiayi Young
Concept and Data Archive: Weidong Yang
Technology Direction: Shih-Wen Young
Data Analytics: Qilian Yu
Electronic Design: Bartek Kłusek
This project, with its multiple phases, transforms the 2016 United States Presidential Election Twitter data into a large-scale installation to probe the question of how artificial intelligence via the ways of social media assumes form and transforms the shaping of the future of a nation. By mapping election data into flickering lights, clicking sounds, and the exchange of fluid between IV bags, the installation recounts Twitter election-related activities from February 2016 through the election date of November 8, 2016. By identifying major Twitter influencers in this period, uncovering propagation patterns in the AI-enabled Twitter landscape, and differentiating human tweets from robotic (Twitter bot) tweets, the installation exposes the inner mechanisms of a world where true human activity and artificially intelligent automation mutually influence each other and propagate inseparably as a combined force. The installation allows the examination of machine world infiltration that shifted the generative entropic propagation of campaign messaging on social media and provides a physical space for contemplating the significant challenges social media pose in our understanding of the social fabric and the radical transformation of the ways in which we now relate to each other.
The goal of the installation was to accurately communicate the story of pro-Trump sentiment propagated on Twitter during the 2016 U.S. Presidential Election. The artwork aims to engage the public in critical social dialogue to examine the significance of artificial intelligence now plays in the relationship between contemporary American life, democracy, politics, and social interactions.
Designed for the installation to adapt to various different cultural and public settings, this work integrates art, design, data science and engineering to make visible empathetic relationship between people in the presence of technology. Beyond conventional methods of data visualization, this work uses methods of provocation, historically found in the creative arts disciplines, to invite the public to come in close contact with complex patterns in big data to promote the rethinking of our present-day human experience.
List of propagating hashtags:
Recounts twitter election activity: Feb 8 - Nov 8, 2016
6.5 million users initial data pool
620,000 tweets final analyzed dataset
This and its related phases have been presented and/or exhibited at the following venues:
Djerassi Artist Residency, Woodside, CA
Curiodyssey Museum, San Mateo, CA
UC Davis Basement Gallery, Davis, CA
Pence Gallery, Davis, CA
5th China International Technology Fair, Shanghai, China
Technarte, Bilbao, Spain
Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, San Francisco, CA
Alianza Francesa, Manizales, Colombia
International Symposium of Electronic Art 2017, Colombia
ACM MM 2017, Computer History Museum, Mountain View, CA
This project is funded in part by the National Science Foundation and research grants from the University of California, Davis. We are grateful for the data analytics support from Professor Shuguang Cui, Ph.D., IEEE Fellow, Child Family Endowed Chair Professor, Dept. of Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of California Davis.