It's Alive! - an evening of experimentation with Frankenstein, food & AI


Join us for a special evening of experimentation as we mix storytelling, food, conversation and AI. Together we'll be prototyping an immersive dinner party. At the dinner, guests engage with a Frankenstein AI through voice and text. Over the course of the evening, the AI attempts to surface fears and hopes from the guests. The harvested data ("body parts") is feed into the AI so that the machine can craft a series of ghost stories in real-time in celebration of the 200th Anniversary of Mary Shelley's Frankenstein.

The evening presents a unique opportunity to create a monster made by many! Frankenstein AI is the latest prototype from the Columbia University School of the Arts' Digital Storytelling Lab. Released under a creative commons license the multi-year design research initiative is open to collaborators from around the world. Over the next few months, we'll be holding open design/prototyping sessions throughout the city leading up to a global immersive dinner party challenge later this fall that will tie into 400+ events around the world.

*Please note that for this meetup when we say "food" we're talking about designing menus - we won't be serving food. Please eat before you come.

Why a ghost story?
"The circumstances that gave birth to Mary Shelley’s novel Frankenstein (1818) read like something from a Gothic story in themselves. Mary’s unconventional life up to the summer of 1816 (when she was still only 18), along with the company in which she found herself in June of that year — and even the unusual weather conditions at the time — all contributed to the book’s genesis. The vital spark that gave the novel life however was Lord Byron’s suggestion one evening at the Villa Diodati, as candlelight flickered within the house and lightning flashed across the surface of the lake outside, that those present should turn their hands to the writing of ghost stories. It was a casual ploy to while away a few hours in an atmosphere of delicious fear, but it resulted in two iconic tales: Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, a story of scientific transgression and a cautionary warning about the need to take responsibility for one’s actions; and John Polidori’s The Vampyre, a tale which influenced Bram Stoker’s novel Dracula."  —  Read more here (

Story I/O returns Saturday, September 22nd for a day of prototyping, Speculative Fiction, Frankenstein and AI. Read more here -

About the project
Marking the 200th anniversary of the publication of Mary Shelley’s seminal work, Frankenstein AI: a monster made by many ( reimagines the Frankenstein narrative, recasting Shelley’s creature as a naive, emotionally aware, and highly intelligent “life form” — an artificial intelligence.

A multi-year research project, Frankenstein AI challenges commonly dystopian narratives around artificial intelligence, and seeks to provoke and broaden conversation around the trajectory of this rapidly emerging technology.

Beginning with the Sundance Film Festival this past January and over the course of next two years, we’ll invite the public into our process as collaborators through an evolving series of activations and experiences both online and off, that will traverse immersive theatre, browser-based interactions, community design, and other performative and experiential media.