Ysaa · your social artificial assistant

Ysaa · your social artificial assistant

Speculative design about virtual identities and personalized artificial intelligence

Speculative Design, Bachelor Thesis

Algo­rithms decide which search results we get on Google, which posts are inte­res­ting for us in our Twit­ter feed and who we should add as friend on Face­book. Social bots regu­late atten­tion in form of likes and are able to affect poli­ti­cal senti­ments. Perso­nal data has become a curr­ency und is conti­nuously recor­ded, saved, analy­zed and sold to third parties.

Every one of us has nume­rous online profiles, which contain a huge amount of perso­nal data. What are those profiles on social media reve­aling about us? What are the diffe­ren­ces between these virtual iden­ti­ties and could you distin­guish them from the real self? Could an arti­fi­cial intel­li­gence take over these profiles, would some­body notice and what socie­tal conse­quen­ces would have such a deve­lop­ment?

Ysaa pretends to do exactly these things by reading the user’s online profiles and activi­ties, analy­zing them and finally imita­ting them with the help of deep learning. Ysaa promi­ses a digi­tal detox as she stays active while the user gets time for other things.

Do you confide your profiles to Ysaa? What do your virtual iden­ti­ties in social media mean to you? Are you content to grant Ysaa access to your most perso­nal data to come off your smart­phone and to have more time for your real life? Regis­ter yours­elf now on bit.ly/YsaaBeta.

This project is my bachelor’s thesis in which I crea­ted a fictio­nal product called Ysaa which  basi­cally pretends to take over social profiles using arti­fi­cial intel­li­gence. My inten­tion was to provoke people to think about data, privacy and social media. Surpri­sin­gly many people belie­ved that Ysaa was an actual product but also reac­ted highly skep­ti­cal.

Visit Ysaa on Face­book and Insta­gram. You can also down­load the full docu­men­ta­tion here (only in German).


Braun­schweig Univer­sity of Art, Janu­ary 2018