AI Snake Oil Trade Show
Welcome to our AI Snake Oil Trade Show! As Artificial Intelligence seeps into products and services, from retail to healthcare, we critically ask ourselves, are any of these claims of AI overblown? Is the hype and half-baked software often a new form of Snake Oil? On the other hand, AI Snake Oil offers a bridge between speculation, research, and end-use, allowing designers to freely come up with, and engage others with the possibilities of AI.
Our proposals span fashion, wellbeing, music, and science – don’t be shy, come on try!

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The AI Snake Oil Trade Show [June 2020] is a project by Design Investigations at the University of Applied Arts Vienna.
Led by Professor Anab Jain
Guest Tutor: M Plummer-Fernández
Tutors: Stefan Zinell, Niko Heep, Matthias Pfeiffer and Peter Knobloch.

2020 · Design & Coding: Andreas Palfinger · Disclaimer

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Dorian Great

Discover your ideal self!

As humans, we are constantly striving to become better. However, we also need encouragement, support and guidance in our individual journeys towards self-improvement. But how do we choose what is best for us, when we are bombarded by thousands of poorly qualified self-improvement coaches selling their wares in a busy market?  

Rather than relying on such deceptive services, why not let a machine help you? Meet Dorian Great, the world’s first A.I. self-improvement service! Created by a team of highly qualified scientists, psychologists and neurologists, Dorian Great will become your trusted companion in your journey to attain your ideal self. All you need to do is define your goal. Dorian Great will use cutting-edge sentiment analysis of your goal and provide constant feedback in the form of your changing portrait, leading you to betterment, every day. 

By Lena Reutenauer, Claudia Montalvo, Simon Platzgumer

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Deep Dive

What is real?

Contemporary knowledge is faceted, iridescent and omnipresent. It inhabits a fluid shared space, containing and diffracting countless truths of different weight. The way knowledge is steered constitutes our world, what is a fact and a reality.

Deep Dive is a documentary project telling a story of several deep sea species inhabiting the depth of an A.I.-generated “ocean”. Even though they were discovered in an artificial environment, the animals claim actual presence in this world by invading public knowledge. They infiltrate the internet, leaving traces of existence in scientific communities, quasi-educational platforms and channels.

Extravagant and yet realistic, they demand attention, trigger debates and discussions. Belonging to the deep sea - a mystical, barely explored space, these animals create a room for speculations and possibilities. Where, how often and in which capacity do these species need to appear in our view to finally be considered a fact? Where does our reality begin?

Instagram @deepdive_science

By Julia Habarda, Selma Mühlbauer, Ula Reutina

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A.I. Radio

The Audiomat is an AI-driven radio that autonomously broadcasts its own algorithmically generated music, news and stories.

Audiomat offers our listeners three unique channels which can be switched by using the simple dial on the radio. Dial into the Breaking News Channel for the latest news, generated by cross-checking and verifying numerous authentic sources, unlike human clickbait journalism.  And if news is not your jam, tune into our Story channel, which features cutting edge fiction, generated by sourcing not just an author’s works but also their thoughts. And last but not least, is the most loved Music Channel, where we share live, A.I.-generated music!

Thanks to our A.I.’s algorithmic capabilities, Audiomat’s content is constantly updated, and therefore, always unique.

Every news report, story or music you are listening to, has never ever been heard before.

By Alan Schiegl

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Why Of All Things

an A.I. Oracle

Why Of All Things is a service that aims to assist with answering complex questions based on divination techniques and methods of Artificial Intelligence research.

Contrary to popular belief, both divination and A.I. can be viewed as Information technology, helping externalize thoughts and approaching complex topics from new angles. Several traditions of fortune telling do not presume a fixed state of the universe, instead a set of symbolic objects is used to map out a question within its context with the goal of finding new patterns in the resulting network.

Rather than asking them to predict the future, methods of A.I. can be used to broaden the human conception of a possibility space with their unique sensibilities, breaking limiting thought patterns with their decidedly non-human input. At the same time, any system of artificial Intelligence is limited to the data it is given and might run the risk of reproducing past futures. 

By Sarah Franzl, Denise Schindele

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SoftWear is the world’s first A.I.-generated digital fashion collection that you can wear as a series of instagram filters. Our unique collection is generated by a bespoke AI, who researches latest trends in the fashion industry from millions of reliable data sources. It then creates hybridised fashion by blending global trends with the marvels of nature. Our first collection is dedicated to the jellyfish, because of its unique ability to adapt to harsh, rapidly changing environments. Would embodying such hybridized, digital fashion inspire us to become more resilient and adaptive? 

Designed for the ecologically conscious consumer, SoftWear defies the endless cycle of fast fashion and inspires everyone to consider fashion that is more sustainable and produces less waste. 

Become a fashion icon! Win over friends! Try SoftWear today!

By Lara Huz

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Expand your mind with A.I.

Existing modes of consciousness have failed to find answers and people are living in a constant state of disconnect – from nature and other humans. How can artificial intelligence solve these problems for you?  

AIME is the first AI enabled wellness device that presents you with the opportunity to deeply explore and expand your mind through personalized customizable sensual experiences. Based on ayahuasca journeys and LSD therapy, AIME understands and knows your mind and body. It uses visual, audio and tactile stimuli as well as pulse and temperature control to fully immerse the user.

Researchers have found that with regular use the product greatly improves brain structure and function. Reap all the benefits, be more connected with yourself and the world around you!

By Meda Retegan