“What shall I do?” This is the question at the heart of Greek tragedy. When there are no good options, when every course of action comes with unbearable costs, how do you choose?
The question anchors a new lecture-discussion-performance by Annie Dorsen. Across all of her work, Dorsen investigates how advancing technology is changing us. This time, she examines the newly emerging tools of “generative artificial intelligence” through the lens of ancient mythology.
Prometheus stole the gods’ fire to give to humans — sparking sudden and dramatic advances in human civilization that also led to hardship and evils. His story is told in the 2500-year-old Prometheia trilogy, of which only fragments remain of the third play. This performance uses AI to fill in the missing story, with Prometheia as source material for dialogues and songs created in real-time through algorithmic prompts. On stage, a chorus of AI-generated Greek masks “performs,” and Dorsen herself joins with storytelling and reflections on mythology and technology.
Each performance is unique, as the algorithms produce new content each night. We’re asked to consider: What does it mean for a machine to create theater? Is artificial intelligence a “gift from the gods” to advance human civilization — or a fraught technology with as-yet unknown social and environmental implications? Where do we end up when AI chooses our course of action?
Learn more about Annie Dorsen and Algorithmic Theater.
Limited tickets available! Walk-ins are not guaranteed entry. Buy your ticket today!
Major support for Algorithmic Theater has been provided to Bryn Mawr College by The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage.