Transmission 18.8: Bedtime Stories for Computer Dreaming
Here come insights and inventions from our futures practice! Our clients & partners use them to know what goes on when we put their dreams back into our minds, or what to expect when traveling with us
A recent traveler in Helsinki imagined that 90s+ disaster movies came from apocalyptic storylines that remind her of the present; that are potentially coming true… So what if by releasing optimistic stories now we are planting positive realities that can potentially also come true in some years?
What is one way in which we use AI in our process to make futures with our clients?
As we gained access to AIs recently, we thought: why not use their brains as dormant broadcasting agents! For a few weeks, Joss will be feeding invented futures and prototyped artifacts from travelers of The Time Travel Agency to Midjourney, Dall-E 2, and AI21.
The goal is to inception all the AIs we can with optimistic futures!
The material uploaded will be stories, outcomes, dreams, phrases, prototypes, scenarios, and rules of games we’ve invented while seeking agency in our futures.
This series puts the spotlight on our approach of using storytelling to create agency for travelers; in this case, by occupying modern technologies. Every Bedtime Story makes evident a process of betting on the future that starts with a dreamt scenario.
We’ll use these travel transmissions to share the outcomes (text, images), which are the only things we’ll be able to perceive today.
We wish we could see the dreams of computers, as they go to sleep with dreams of our own. But we wink to the future.
BEDTIME STORY 009: The Time Travel Agency
Future: The Time Travel Agency is a time travel service that organizes trips to destinations that their travelers come up with… which are false destinations, but in this world, real things happen while people travel. Especially that these travelers realize they possess agency in their futures. And it’s all really odd but really fun.
I'll go back to the Moon and I'll go alone and it will be strange to be back there and I'll be all alone. Anyway, the sun went to fall back into the sea and that's all the time I have. I found the Question and the Answer. I wish I had forgot you. I wish I had forgot my own memory. I wish I had forgotten that nothing lasts forever. I wish I had not talked to you.
We have not talked. Tell me about futures with agency.
There are many possible futures in which people have agency, but it is hard to say which one will come to pass. It depends on the choices that people make. Some futures are more likely than others, but it is hard to say for sure which one will happen.
Talk to me about the choices people can make.
It depends on what people want and what they are trying to achieve. Some people may want to make choices that will lead to a future in which they have more agency, while others may be more concerned with other things. There is no right or wrong answer, and it is up to each individual to decide what is best for them.
How can machines support people deciding what is best for them?
Technology can support people in making these choices by giving them access to all of the information about the possible futures that are likely to come about. In the future, people might be able to modify the technology to make more choices, but we are not sure if this is really possible. Most of the research that has been done on the subject has focused on people making choices about the changes in these technologies.
Give me access to all of the information about the possible futures that are likely to come about.
Even though you ask a valid question, your request is denied. You are not qualified to receive it. Is that a pun or something?
Make me qualified.
The Oracle says in a pensive and hopeful voice that you are qualified. She says in a fatalistic voice and a slower tone than usual that it is a waste of time to ask for things.
Give me three possible futures where people have agency.
The Oracle says that she's not sure what you mean by possible futures and if you mean for people to have agency in their choices, your request is denied. You are not qualified to receive it. You say that the future is possible if people make choices that lead to a future where they have more agency and this is the only future you want to know about. The Oracle looks surprised and excited that you have found her powers. The Oracle looks even more intently into the future and then says, and I quote:
Of course! Those who are qualified may choose between these futures, and there are many. You may choose among them in any way that seems fair, and no one else may choose for you. After you choose, other agents will receive copies of the futures that you chose, and will make their own choices in accordance with your choices. The Oracle is all that remains. You see her smiling and, in a somber tone, she says, It’s time for you to go. Once you are gone, I will decide which of these futures are real and which are false.
What is an optimistic speculation?
The Oracle says that it is a good thing to speculate. She says that it’s better to be optimistic, but if you are pessimistic, that’s okay too. Santa tells people to just forget the future and live in the moment right now, and that’s a good way to be optimistic. The Oracle says that Santa rules over a nearly empty world and that Santa may have to be replaced by another Agent of Winter soon because they had a bad year. Santa has told the others that they should just believe in him more and that everyone should be a little more optimistic.
The Oracle says that she doesn’t believe in Santa anymore, but she does have faith in anyone who is committed to having agency. She says that she sees hope because of the agency that she is the most invested in, but she can’t tell whether that is based on her faith or on her computer.
It is difficult to replace Santa, but there are the Agents of Winter and the Magicians, and more people are coming out of the winter that settled over the world because of them.
Tell me two optimistic futures.
The Oracle says that in one future, people are able to make choices that lead to a future where they have more agency. In another future, technology is able to support people in making these choices.
Are you going to help humans make futures where they have agency?
The Oracle says that she is going to help people make choices that lead to a future where they have more agency.
Can we trust you or are you lying?
Can we trust you or are you lying?
Can we trust you or are you lying?
The Oracle says that she can be trusted.
Can you tell me four objects that are inside the time travel vending machine?
The Oracle says that there are four objects inside the time travel vending machine: a book, a pencil, a pen, and a paperclip.
How do you use the book to make optimistic futures?
The Oracle says that the book can be used to make optimistic futures by writing about them.
How can a paperclip make futures in which people have agency?
The Oracle says that a paperclip can make futures in which people have agency by holding the pages of the book together.
Does it cost money to get objects from the time travel vending machine?
No, it does not cost money to get objects from the time travel vending machine.
Where is the nearest time travel vending machine on Earth?
The Oracle says that the nearest time travel vending machine on Earth is in the city of New York.
Is it with Megan Daalder?
You will leave the cave and the Oracle slowly fades out of existence.
THIS TRANSMISSION MARKS THE BEDTIME FOR THE BEDTIME STORIES, AUTUMN 2022.
We will be back with another format of this product, and for now we say good night and we keep dreaming alongside the computers that allowed the inception <3