Britbot is an artwork by Libby Heaney exploring 'British' identity. It is a computer program you can talk to that was trained initially on a version of Britishness related to the UK citizenship test. As Britbot interacts with people, it learns from what they say to become a wider reflection of Britain today.
You do not need to know anything about 'Britishness' to speak to Britbot. It wants to hear your views and opinions on the subject.
B-X is an art object in the form of a book. It’s contents are a sample of sentences people said to Britbot in 2018 forming poem authored by the agency of hundreds of humans and an evolving chatbot.
B-X is best read aloud, like poetry.
A book B-X (link to book page) has also been published based on a selection of interactions with users in 2018.
The sentences are curated following an approach inspired by the Xenofeminist Manifesto, seeking to recontextualise and reframe conversations around topics related to ‘Britishness’. Within the limits of an English language book, data is presented without hierarchies, where all utterances are treated equal. Unlike machine learning approaches, which seek to cluster and categorize data based on sentiment, content, intent and other metrics, B-X abolishes categories such as political orientation, race, sex, age by indexing the data alphabetically. Alternative meanings and possibilities emerge through new contexts and arrangements. B-X refers to humanities intra-actions with machines as a site of fertile possibility where nothing is sacred and where categories loaded with social stigma may be continually unpicked.
Download the full pdf of B-X here.
If you spoke to Britbot before August 2019 and/or wish to understand our previous data policy please visit our data page.