Galatea was a beautiful experience. I liked the medium, the language and the certain eeriness of the piece. Not only that: it made me think about my interaction with objects, to be more precise technological artefacts. We are constantly surrounded by machines that know us so well that they can predict which word we will type next, what brand we will like and which show we would love to see. Artificial intelligence is evolving at an alarming (or admirable?) rate.
That’s why this text can teach us a lot about how we interact with those humane machines. Galatea goes back to the very beginning of our obsession with breathing live into objects. The myth around the sculptor who loved one of his statues so much he wanted her to be alive has influenced literature, music and art so much that entering this story feels kind of familiar.
One think I always like to ask myself is: where is the connection to Elit? Because it is so artfully and beautifully written, one might be led to think that this piece could exist outside of this genre, for example as a book – however, that is only true at a first glance. This piece depends on the variety of choices, turns and endings this story includes. Also, the electronic surface adds a complexity and depth to the story that a simple “choose-your-own-adventure-story” could not provide. Again, the medium connects to the content: By interacting with Galatea, we are talking to a machine and the machine is responding according to what we decide to say. This has an influence on her character and on the way she thinks and acts. So far, so good, but Galatea also goes one step further: through talking to her, we are also discovering truths about the literary “you”, about who we are in the story. It is an exchange, a learning process that goes both ways. This piece asks the interesting question about the relationship between us and our devices. It is the same question that the movies “her” asks and the same question we should ask ourselves when we notice that our phones know more about us than we would have expected.