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Lynn Hershman
«Agent Ruby»

Lynn Hershman
«Agent Ruby»

«Agent Ruby» is an Artificial Intelligent Web Agent that is shaped by encounters with users—thereby simultaneously being part of the real and virtual worlds. Ruby converses with users, remembers their questions and names and has moods corresponding to whether or not she likes them. Her mood may also be affected directly by Web traffic.

Users can interact with Ruby through both voice and text and can also download Agent Ruby onto Palm Pilots and laptops, thereby extending her life cycle into one of continual replication and breeding. «Agent Ruby» is seeded to users servers as well as being downloadable to desktops or Palm OS handheld computers. She is multi-platform, integrating PC, MAC and Palm systems. «Agent Ruby» will be downloadable to users’ handheld devices using Wide Ray-powered beaming stations. Museum visitors will be able to point their own handheld device (Palm-powered PDA) at the WideRay Jack mobile caching server to download the «Agent Ruby» application.
This ‹tamagotchi-like› creature will be an Internet-bred construction of identity that will flesh out through cumulative virtual use, reflecting the global choices of Internet users.

«Agent Ruby» evokes questions about the networked potential of consciousness and identity, but in her interactions also encounters both corruption and redemption.

A piece that is scheduled to be completed in 2004 is DiNA. She will use «Agent Ruby»’s ‹brain,› the aesthetics of her accumulated information but will be a virtual presence that is trained to read internet information and transmit her knowledge immediately in real time. «DiNA» will run for public office, probably president. After all, she is ubiquitous and intelligent and has he pulse on life and information as it happens. Ruby and «DiNA» talk with immediate lip synced animation via a program called Pulse 3d.

People will be capable of talking to «DiNA» about world problems and issues as they happen. She will have a universal worldview of information garnered from several sources, some of which talk to each other.

The data interacts with itself, again exists by cannibalizing , morphing and modifying information in a continual breeding set that lives via the interaction of data.
I am now fascinated by cumulative information, and the projectiions that data based works can transmit in real time. Two other pieces that use the aesthetics of database information are «Agent Ruby» and DiNA. Their entire structure, backbone, cyborgian spine is code built to with Artificial Intelligence Markup Language, voice recognition, speech synthesis and real time reading of current, changing internet information.