Agent Ruby 1998–2002, interactive website, computer, dimensions of installation variable, installation view with 8 archival folders and wall text. Lynn Hershman Leeson: The Agent Ruby Files, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, 2013
The interactive, multiuser work Agent Ruby is an expanded cinema part of Hershman Leeson’s film Teknolust. The work consists of an artificially intelligent Web agent with a female persona and a website designed as the working lab of two of the Teknolust characters Rosetta Stone and Agent Ruby. Ruby, who appears as a female face with shifting expressions, chats with users and can remember their questions—although she often responds that she needs a better algorithm to reply. When prompted, she searches the Internet for information and increases her body of knowledge. Ruby ’s internal system continually changes with use, reflecting these encounters; even her moods are directly affected by web traffic. The Web agent can be accessed on the website agentruby.net.
Agent Ruby ’s EDream Portal, 2002, screen shot: agentruby.net. Collection San Francisco Museum of Modern Art
DiNA, Artificial Intelligent Agent Installation, 2004, interactive network-based multimedia installation (custom software, sound, voice recognition, voice synthesis, sensors, one way mirror; alternative presentation with projection), 64 x 60 x 17 cm (dimensions of installation variable), installation view Lynn Hershman Leeson. Civic Radar, ZKM | Museum of Contemporary Art, Karlsruhe, 2014/2015
This interactive continuation of Agent Ruby allows users to interact with DiNA, an animated, artificially intelligent female character with speech recognition and live animated facial gestures. DiNA converses using voice-recognition technology and becomes increasingly intelligent through interaction. She generates answers to questions and collects information globally from users. DiNA can process Internet content in real time and respond to current events as they unfold.