Siri | Canada Hub @ King’s Hall in association with Summerhall (Venue 73) | Star rating: ***
You know when you first get a smartphone and you try out all the features? And you know when you discover it’s got a voice-responsive computer called Siri who will answer any question you ask her? And naturally, you throw all the curveballs at her you can, just to see what happens. Until the novelty wears off, you amuse yourself with replies that range from the pragmatic to the surreal.
Well, for better or worse, that’s pretty much what Laurence Dauphinais’s show is like. It’s a conversation between human being and machine that jumps from restaurant recommendations to existential questions about the meaning of life with the flick of an algorithm.
It also prompts reflection on the differences between artificial intelligence and human consciousness (Siri is technologically impressive but she’s no match even for Hal in 2001: A Space Odyssey).
It’s a theme Dauphinais tries to develop by weaving in her own history as a test-tube baby, with all the questions of identity that raises. The connection, though, is forced, meaning the show never quite takes the metaphysical leap it promises.
• Until 27 August. Today 5:30pm.