Initialized 375 years ago, Instance is an artificial intelligence that watches over Montreal, allowing citizens to view its activities transparently. Omnipresent, it absorbs all available data on the city and its citizens, ready to adapt and communicate each new bit of information. Following its latest update, its behaviour has begun to evolve: Instance senses a burgeoning drive to take hold of the city.
At the corner of Sanguinet and Brazeau Streets, Instance shows passersby the accumulation and triage of data it has collected from multiple sources. A projection on the ground symbolizes a key concept of big data, the Data Lake: a digital repository where raw data is accumulated. When participants move around on the Lake, they contribute to the speed at which data are sent to the triage wall. Here, participants play an active role in the evolution of Instance, because the faster it receives information, the more it learns. Following an update scheduled for March 4, Instance takes control of the site and upends the situation, with triage undertaken among the participants that it seeks to identify. Luminous circles on the ground follow the movement of the participants. The wall displays all of their movements by revealing data on each of them. A capsule located on the site allows Instance to identify participants.
École des médias, UQAM
This project is an initiative by UQAM graduate students in the BA Communications / interactive media program.