A######### I########### | STEPHANIE DINKINS

Conversations with Bina48: Fragment 11, Fourth Mirror


Video Installation, 2 min 45 s


Can an artist and a social robot build a relationship over time?  This question is tested through a series of videotaped interviews in Conversations with Bina48:  Fragment 11, Fourth Mirror. This video installation is an ongoing art project that features a series of video interviews the artist conducted with Bina48 – an advanced, black social robot.  

In 2014, Dinkins started visiting Bina48, a humanoid robot said to be capable of independent thought and emotion, with the aim of making her a friend and getting her to answer the question “who are your people?” To date, the two have discussed family, racism, faith, robot civil rights, consciousness, loneliness, knowledge, age, and Bina48’s concern for her robot friends that are treated more like lab rats than people. Their conversations have been entertaining, frustrating — for both robot and artist, surprisingly humorous, philosophical, and, at times, absurd. 

Artificially intelligent systems (AI) are increasingly the ubiquitous, unseen arbiters of our social, civic and family lives. The artist’s video installation demonstrates the need to understand how, where, and why bias enters human-robot interactions is more important than ever. As she explores in Conversations with Bina48: Fragment 11, Fourth Mirror, it is imperative that our AI doppelgangers be developed and coded in ways that convincingly represent the rich diversity of stories, cultures, and physicalities of the human family.


Photo credit: courtesy of the artist