Fortune Tasker

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Fortune Tasker is an interactive installation by Nadine Lessio and Alenn Predko using an Amazon Alexa, reclaimed deer skull, and a tiny printer. Fortune Tasker is a prototype that explores some ideas around the concept of useless machines, which is a device that serves no utilitarian function, and the magical object, in which a technological device is framed as other worldly rather than commonplace. Currently, personal assistants are positioned by their parent companies as helpful, general use computing devices that are developed for a wide audience. Fortune Tasker is an exploration in subverting that notion by modifying it into a computing device that serves a very specific need for a very specific person. Striped of its voice, and removed from its prescribed consumer function, Fortune Tasker can only provide the service of a personal medium by printing out absurd fortunes on receipts, and a task for the user to complete if they so desire. Fortunes are programatically assembled on the fly, from a large corpus of nouns, verbs, places and things, resulting in amusing and unexpected outcomes.

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Details

v2.0 uses NFC under a set of viles to influece what the fortune says, and uses an Alexa embedded on a raspberry pi to experiment with other interface options like using a custom microphone. The installation in v2.0 is also a full room install where the device controlls the lighting. It also has a "tired of interacting with you" variable, that kicks in after its been running for a while, in which the device actively refuses to give fortunes. We're experimenting with giving its voice back.

v1.0 is made using custom software that programatically compliles fortunes, while also interfacing with the Alexa API, and a small printer.

Documentation

Version 2.0

Version 1.0

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