The world of artificial intelligence gets a little help from the Twitch audience in an exclusive teaser for Artificial: Version 2.0. The live-streaming platform for gamers made its first foray into scripted television in 2018 with the interactive series that blurs the lines somewhat between fiction and reality, telling the story of Sophie, an advanced form of artificial intelligence, as she learns to navigate the world, interact with people around her, and eventually, become human.
It’s an interesting concept for a series, and one that is uniquely suited to the platform’s primary audience. A blend of Steven Spielberg’s A.I.: Artificial Intelligence and AMC’s recently canceled Humans - but for the very online crowd -Artificial makes for a unique viewing experience, mainly because it is actively courting comments from those watching, and those comments can sometimes impact where the story is going. Not quite a choose-you-own-adventure story, like Black Mirror’s recent Bandersnatch, but also not yet another online service throwing its hat into the Peak TV ring, Artificial toys with the idea of what actually constitutes a television series.
The series also doubles down on its own immersive nature with a weekly podcast, Artificial: Uncovered hosted by Carmen (La Trice Harper) and Justin (Justin Lee), further blurring the lines between what is real and what isn’t. As Twitch readies Artificial: 2.0, committed viewers and curious consumers alike can relive the highlights of Sophie’s journey in an exclusive video recapping the previous season. Check out the full video and a synopsis of season 2 below:
“Artificial: Version 2.0” continues to follow Dr. Matt Lin (Tohoru Masamune) as he, along with the live Twitch audience, guides his AI daughter Sophie (Tiffany Chu) on her journey to become human. The Twitch users will have more tools than ever to profoundly influence the show’s direction, including interactive polls, audience Q&A’s and the opportunity to send fan letters or gifts that will affect Sophie’s journey during each episode.”
The appeal of Artificial is clearly in the degree to which the audience can dictate Sophie’s choices (look out, Meryl Streep), and the potential creative pitfalls therein. Just take a look at one quandary Sophie found herself in with a human friend, which seemed to turn out okay thanks to the audience’s intervention. But will that always be the case? Allowing those watching a stake in where the story is headed may help build the show’s fan base, though it may also be something of a double-edged sword for the show’s creators and cast. If nothing else, then, it may be worth checking out Artificial: Version 2.0 just to see which direction those watching and participating want to see the the story go.
Artificial and Artificial: Uncovered airs live on Wednesdays, at 11 a.m. and 5 p.m. PT on Twitch. The season 2 finale airss on August 28 at 5pm PST.