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Nadia and Nick: Sketches From Artificial Life

Nadia and Nick are two people who live inside a computer. They are computer-generated but there is a human around somewhere, and they suspect they are being manipulated. They struggle with their artificiality and dream of being 'natural'

At night, when the machinery is quiet, they hear the voices of the 'others' - the real, big people who live outside the box. They dream of escaping their box and becoming human. Unable to, they try to imitate what they hear but struggle with the idioms and concepts

I wrote these entertainments back in 2001 before the text-to-speech engines were very sophisticated, at least the ones at my disposal. They were also recorded 'live', which is why you hear background noise like seagulls and cars passing.

The sometimes weird spelling and punctuation was required to get the TTS engine to pronounce things how I wanted. It had no intonation meta-language so I was forced to simulate it by adding full-stops, spaces, and other typographical tricks.

Once you are in the page, click on the Listen link to hear the computer-generated speech. If that doesn't stream for you, click on the raw MP3 hyperlink (the biggest file is about 6Mb).

The Pigs Nadia dreams of being more natural.
Around the bend Nadia and Nick almost escape from their apartment.
Let's be stupid! Nadia discusses having cosmetic surgery but then comes up with a novel way to be more human.
Is That Art? What have pin cushions and pink carnations got to do with art? Nadia's mother's nursery rhyme has the answer.
Are you speakin' to me? Nadia becomes too demanding.
We are not alone Nadia and Nick get paranoid.

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