Stephanie McNiel

Stephanie McNiel is a designer and creative technologist whose work is influenced by the relationship humans have with the digital landscape. Her creative projects are expressed in various mediums that encompass video, data visualization, machine learning, creative coding, and digital game creation.


Savage Diction

Savage Diction is a short film narrated by artificial intelligence.

The narratives we construct, of ourselves and our world, are transmitted via language for various profound reasons. To understand the psychology and motives and actions of others. To understand those same things within ourselves. To figure out why the world exists around us as it does, and how to operate among the vast network of components that affect our actions and shape our thoughts.

Our technology plays a crucial role in defining and reconfiguring the human landscape. Far from simple tools, the computational systems that exist today are intelligent, globally networked, and pervasive in every facet of our daily lives. This in turn, heavily affects the narration we construct of ourselves and the world we live in. If language is the process of transmitting information from one mind to another, this transmission is manifested in a complex recursive entanglement of communication transcribed by our media and technology.

Savage Diction is a short film narrated by artificial intelligence. It is a curated collection of media artifacts, narrated by an intelligent computational system. This narration is generated by machine learning, a subdomain of artificial intelligence, through the process of object recognition and natural language processing. Different interpretations are algorithmically generated by training the machine learning models on separate databases of textual artifacts that range from released Hilary Clinton emails to a corpus of romance novels. By interjecting these narratives into the film, a visual investigation is created. One that embodies the significance of data used to train intelligent systems, the contextual associations that emerge from the process of intelligent algorithms, and the shifting definition of culture that results when artificial intelligence becomes a key producer of cultural artifacts.