Machine Parenting: Reflecting on a Future

Human level artificial intelligence will be reached towards the end of this century according to experts in the field. With this “invention” comes a challenge for us to find our place in this future. To explore how a design perspective can understand and analyze the complex field of AI-research. In order to begin to imagine our place and role in our coming ‘moist’ future; a merger of the ‘wet’ biological world, and the ‘dry’ computational one. The uncertain nature of the future makes accurate speculation around it difficult, if not a futile gamble. But the attempt to do so being of extraordinary value since; “Science, it is argued, is more about telling useful stories than fact”.

Here presented is a short sci-fi film within the genre of “mockumentary”. The premise of the mockumentary is simple. Sometime around the year 2065, a tech company creates the first human level artificial general intelligence. These AI-agents are created without a specific purpose or motivation. They are dubbed “non-humans”. These AIs , at the time of release, are a monumental scientific and technological breakthrough, yet as most tech-inventions the hype quickly fades and they rapidly assimilate and become “normalized”.

Set in the year 2072, where these non-humans live among us, almost indistinguishable from humans – the setting of the moist-world. With the focus on one such non-human; Ishar. The mockumentary is a curious eye into a future with HLAI/SHALI, plagued by normalcy. A future that may never be but, by virtue of not knowing, is at least possible.


Ziad Bou Assi (Master of Arts Integrated Design)


The content of this film does not necessarily reflect the views of its characters – due to heavy handed redactions, vagueness of context, and manipulative edits by the producer.


Film Youtube Link: