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The Agenda with Steve Paikin

The Bots and Our Feelings

In a culture dominated by technology, it's becoming the norm to talk to smartphones and computers as though they are people. Siri, Alexa, and other chatbots are programmed to interact with people, almost as though they are friends. The Agenda considers the time is near when people will become emotionally dependent on these technologies to share their joy and grief.

More about Katie Micak

Katie Micak is an artist and research looking at the impact of emerging technologies. She is also one of the curators for Toronto’s digital art festival, Vector, is an educator of video art and its history, and is interested in the future trajectory of domestic robotics.

The Alexa Experiment

“The Alexa Experiment” explores what it’s like to live with the artificially intelligent, personal home assistant, the Amazon Alexa. Over a six-month study period, Katie created mini-documentaries and a companion-writing piece evaluating the device’s function and design against its possible nefarious or spectacular uses. Considering that Alexa is as an object hyperlinked to wider legal, political, or social systems, Katie wanted to understand its impact outside of intended consumer uses. Katie’s documentaries highlight specific topics; initial impressions of the device, her thoughts regarding it as a surveillance device, what it’s like to ‘talk’ to Alexa, the evolution of our relationship, and finally, Katie’s central finding that the Alexa holds the potential to deliver a form a talk therapy that could benefit the user. “The Alexa Experiment” asks what we can learn about ourselves through speaking to the Alexa.

The Digital Futures Program

The Digital Futures (DF) program at OCAD University invites you to DIVERGE, our annual graduate exhibition, hosted by Graduate Studies at OCADU and our partners at the CFC Media Lab.

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Check out Katie's project and 17 other Digital Futures Graduate Student thesis projects at DIVERGE:

Thursday, April 12

6-10 PM

Friday, April 13 – Sunday, April 15

12-6 PM

49 McCaul St. Toronto,
ON M5T 1V7


  1. To develop in a different direction.
  2. The evolution of different forms or structures in related species as they adapt to different environments.
  3. In a series, increasing indefinitely as more of its terms are added.

The show features Master of Design, Master of Fine Arts, and Master of Arts thesis projects that explore a wide range of topics, including: artificial intelligence, chatbots, civic media, e-waste, educational video games, Fake News, gesture technologies, mobile surveillance, performance, and more!