Future Call Center 2036


Keywords
+ Future of Labor
+ Turing Test
+ Post Human
+ AR/VR Call Center

Execution
+ Video (After Effect/ Premier Pro)
+ VR Avatar Making Application

What is authority of human labor in future, where AI can ‘understand’ human emotion, and both robot and majority of human are ‘made’ in artificial setting?


The Call Center 2036 is a speculative video piece that narrates re-imagined future of emotional labor in United States. The video explores the possible future scenario in call center when majority of human labors are replaced by Artificial Intelligence.

Nowadays, call center jobs in America are outsourced from India and Philippines, where can provide English speaking agents' service with cheap labor cost. But the video poses question for the future call center: What if AI is outsourced for emotional labors like call center jobs? What is the authority of human in future workplace? Who do we prefer to have service from, AI agent or human agent? And why? How does the labor cost of sentient AI influence the minimum wage of outsourced human labors? And how much can AI understand human emotion?

You may also be able to read more about this project here



Process
The project started with making visual narrative about test tube baby and its' relation to history of eugenics. The story questions the technology of ‘making human.’ Researches were aim to define the boundary between test-tube baby, post human and Artificial Intelligence.



Currently, special ability for human, compared to robots and AI, is creativity, emotional intelligence, ability to speech independently and adaptability to an unpredictable changes. What makes human special in future when AI can think like human? (when AI passes Turing test.)

1. Call Center Labor
Currently, call center labor covers the notion of deterritorialization because of the weak tie between the agent’s residence and working culture. We can hardly say that call center agents working for US customers, but living in Manila, Philippines, present in Manila. 

It is possible future that  companies outsource AI agents, not the human agents from another country. AI will influence overall system of labor market such as minimum wage rate for human, working hours and job description etc. The outsourcing AI also raises questions about another demension of deterritorialization: How can we characterize the labor of AI if we cannot physically locate them in certain regional context but are possibly present in anytime and anywhere in both physical and virtual dimension?

2. Future working tool
I imagined the future that phone is replaced by AR/VR glasses for communication method. As the difference between phone and AR/VR is that caller and receiver can view each others’ virtual appearance, the future of call center give room for them to disguise one’s identity through their avatar.



Brief & Context
Create a thought-provoking short film - a critical narrative - which reveals a novel scene or situation about the "future of work", derived from a re-imagined future Los Angeles. This project has three thing you will need to consider together throughout your process of design interrogation: the future of labor, the future of the city, and critical narratives.


Class
Lab Projects 1: Working Futures

Instructors
Sean Donahue, Tim Durfee, and Benjamin Hooker




Mark