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Personal Companion POS |

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Personal Companion POS

Will we become friends with robots?

By 2030, the Subscription Era dominated, pushing the traditional value of ownership aside in favour of disposability and convenience. While renting homes had been a longstanding trend, this era saw everything up for lease. Appliances equipped with sensors charged users on-the-go, occasionally shutting down when payments were overdue. Cars weren't exempt, nor were their features. With the latest in robotics and AI, even empathy became a commodity.

In this age, where human interactions often felt limiting and cumbersome, we offer the perfection of tailored companionship. With advanced robotics and AI, we promise AI-driven companions, attuned to your every unique desire, always ready, devoid of the complexities and unpredictability of human temperament. But remember, unlike humans who can freely give themselves, our robotic companions don’t operate for free. And so, we’ve rolled out flexible subscription plans to match your needs and budget. Opt for our all-inclusive monthly package or the more adaptable pay-as-you-go option, ensuring you invest only in the companionship you truly seek.

In this installation, the artist dives into this satirical vision, presenting an artefact symbolic of the era: a self-service kiosk, a portal to curating one's AI companion. This piece isn't a testament to technological progress but an invitation to introspect. It beckons viewers to ponder the delicate dance between technology and humanity, prompting questions about the designs and innovations that shape us and the futures they are nudging us towards. Through this immersive experience, one is led to contemplate the inherent dangers of commodifying and outsourcing the most intimate aspects of our lives.

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About the designers

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Eric Gu's (1991) journey into the realm of AI began unexpectedly while exploring his obsession with becoming a cyborg. Over the past seven years, he's navigated the intricate balance between humancentric design and the vast potential of AI.

As a design innovation consultant, Eric has helped companies across the spectrum - from Fortune100s to startups. He helps them bring their visions to life, particularly when it comes to AI-enabled products.

In academia, Eric's relentless quest for understanding has carved a distinct path. At Imperial College London, he was instrumental in shaping the "Augmented Designer" curriculum. Presently, as a Ph.D. candidate at TU Delft, his work delves into the confluence of AI and the design realm. His most recent study, "Synthetic Stakeholders," probes the nuanced interplay between humans and AI entities in a world where traditional boundaries blur.

Navigating the intricate nexus of design, technology, and humanity's unfolding narrative, Eric aspires to contribute meaningfully to a future of a harmonized coexistence amongst all kinds of beings.

What we do at TU Delft
Industrial Design Engineering?

AI is becoming ever more prevalent in the artefacts around us – in anything from robots to refrigerators and clothing. As these products are entering our professional, social and even intimate private lives, IDE’s Expressive Intelligence Lab is researching how to design them in meaningful and socially appropriate ways. One practical example is the Dramaturgy for Devices project. TU Delft | Industrial Design Engineering takes part in this project through the research of Associate Professor MarcoMarco Rozendaal. The project will research what it takes to develop these social skills. This is an important aspect in our Master;’s pogramme Design for Interaction.