K.I.T.A. – The Human Possible.

A Radio Play Mockumentary.

Roboter mit Kind und Luftballon

In vivid scenes, listeners experience how robots care for and educate children. The developers of the company Ai Ai praise the advantages of their intelligent nanny system, while educators in the government-funded pilot project K.I.T.A. use them for the first time in Germany.

Parents talk about their motivation, provide voice samples for the AI to imitate, or they choose the voice for their parenting robot from a database. Educators explain which educational concepts the parents can choose from, analyze needs, and provide advice. The Ai Ai boss reminds us of the traumas that some children experience with real parents. Politicians consider the consequential costs. Children play with robots. The robots work perfectly and do what they are told to do. Everything goes according to plan.

The play follows a long tradition of dystopian literature about machine people since the invention of Frankenstein by Mary Shelly. But perhaps the greatest danger lies not in the uncontrollability of machines, but precisely in their controllability. Questions – such as what kind of people this helps to shape and whether human strengths do not rather tend to develop in contradictory and imperfect settings are subtly written between the lines. The authors create a space in which it remains unclear whether the experiment is meaningful or pointless. They make the audience reflect upon their own parenting skills, their aspirations for self-optimization and its transfer to their offspring.

The special quality of the project is the mixture of fiction and documentation as well as the improvisational character. The authors invent the company Ai Ai, the project K.I.T.A. and their representatives. In terms of content and speaking mode, the played interviews and scenes are based on research and are complemented with original statements from developers of existing AI companies. The experts and K.I.T.A. staff are played by professional actors who receive instructions for their play. The parents and children, on the other hand, are real and enter the role play with the actors unprepared. By improvisation the piece will capture realistic reactions. The lines of the robots will be written with the help of the OpenAI language model.

concept / text / editing

Antje Vauh, Carina Pesch

directing

Antje Vowinckel, Carina Pesch

production

independent 2021/22

voices

n.n.

image

Carina Pesch