Britbot is an artwork by Libby Heaney. It explores ‘British’ identity. It is a computer program you can talk to that was trained initially on a version of Britishness related to the UK citizenship test. As Britbot interacts with people, it learns from what they say to become a wider reflection of Britain today.
You do not need to know anything about ‘Britishness’ to speak to Britbot. It wants to hear your views and opinions on the subject.
The Britbot was originally commissioned for Sky Arts as part of their Arts 50 programme. It is an online voice activated chatbot that asks open-ended questions about ‘Britishness’ following topics in the UK citizenship test and corresponding book Life in the United Kingdom. Britbot responds to the answers given by someone interacting with it by sifting through hundreds of books, online articles and debates from which it compiles a reply it judges to be the best fit.
This installation is showing as part of the award-winning Art AI festival, showcasing artificial intelligence created artworks produced by the world’s leading creators in the form.
Britbot has been online since June 2018 and overtime has learnt from the people it interacts with. Its aim is to gather and reflect a diverse range of views and insights about what ‘Britishness’ really means today. When Britbot leaves the Art AI Festival, it will be reformatted into a legacy website with insights drawn from its conversations with audiences. A book will also be published based on a selection of interactions with users.