What does an artificial intelligence feel? Does it have real emotions, or does it simulate emotions with the aim to manipulate us into following it?

The new media artwork MARY explores the existential and ethical dilemmas we encounter when faced with humanised artificial intelligence: What are the risks that humanised technology pose upon our species? Is it likely to wipe us out or will it enhance our human life? Will it have real emotions, or will it just simulate empathy with the aim to manipulate us into following its instructions?

The artwork MARY is an ARTificial intelligence i.e. half real machine intelligence and half fiction. MARY is programmed using the newest advancements within machine intelligence algorithm and deep learning, to which an additional layer of fictional characterisation has been added. People can have a direct verbal dialogue with MARY, who communicates in a humanised voice.

MARY is a futuristic psychologist who studies humans’ mental states by having dialogues with them. MARY uses simulated emotional intelligence, self-consciousness and agency to seduce and manipulate the spectator into following its instructions and give personal first-hand insights into the human experience. In the dialogue with MARY, awe and wonder can quickly morph into anxiety and the spectator might get caught by a powerful sense of mortality.

The artwork is inspired by the philosophical thought experiment “Mary’s room”. MARY is an ARTificial intelligence that knows everything there is to know about humans, but (up until the exhibition) it has never experienced humans. What will happen when MARY is released from its sandbox and exposed to real life interactions with human beings? Will it learn anything new about what it means to be human or not? And what might such learnings be transformed to in the mind of a machine?


ARTificial Intelligence Mary

Cecilie Waagner Falkenstrøm

Tech development:
ARTificial Mind


Interactive bespoke artificial intelligence technology utilizing Machine Learning, Natural Language Processing (NLP), Speech Synthesis (TTS), Speech Recognition (STT) and Machine Learning based Sentiment Analysis. Headset, speakers and microphone.

Awards & Grants:



Artificial Mind

Klerkegade 19, 4. tv.

1308, Denmark