REMEMBERING WHAT I HAVE FORGOTTEN

This book is the result of a residency that I have undertaken with Dr Francesca Farina in the Trinity College Institute of Neuroscience. It is a diary written from the perspective of somebody experiencing memory loss. This diary however, has not been written by a person but by a generative chatbot that has learned from the experiences of carers of people with dementia.

During my residency I received data from neuroscientists studying the ageing brain. At the time, I was very interested in how a lot of technology today has been designed to learn from us and predict our health, relationships and behaviours. I wanted to take this research and see if I could create something that could predict how a person with dementia feels, what they experience and how this changes over time.

This type of chatbot is able to make its own responses based on the data it is given, becoming smarter and clearer the more data it receives and the more interactions it has. To create this diary, I have fed the chatbot anonymous data from conversations with clinicians and care partners of people living with dementia, as well as by asking it how are you feeling? 365 times. Each response from the chatbot has then been put into chronological order in the format of a diary. I have also printed some of these outputs on a series of bookmarks throughout the book, as the practice of writing bookmarks to remember certain elements is something often done by people experiencing memory loss. With this work, I wanted to raise questions about the chatbots ability to capture the feelings and experiences of a person who is experiencing memory loss. If the chatbot is able to paint a clear picture of what it is like to have memory problems, how this impacts daily life, relationships, and feelings and if these become more insightful the more data and uses the chatbot has.

Remembering What I Have Forgotten will be included and on sale in the Dublin Art Book Fair virtually from the 23rd of November to 6th of December 2020. All money raised from sales of the book will be donated to The Alzheimer Society of Ireland.