PLEASE NOTE: This story has life on a few different platforms.
1. There is a linear feature legth script available for download here with same password
2. There is the interactive Book from this initial story that spans 250+ pages and counting...
3. There is also the digital experience (App) for mobile (or TvOs). We want to roll this out sequentially as we user test and finess the design & code. And speak of other avenues for this transmedia story.
John Douglass (the "Professor") is a rockstar computer scientist working with Artificial Intelligence and Big Data.
As a byproduct of his research, he has developed algorithms that cull through vast amounts of data in real time, making connections…
But, as our story begins, he is missing!
Now it’s up to his daughter, Ellie, to find out what’s happened.
ASIDE: Ellie is a geeky, NYC high school student. She is both wickedly smart and suffers slightly from ADD.
While she knows computers and code, she is more drawn to tactile art; it's a way to define herself in relation to her fathers world.
She makes a beautiful type of hand drawn street art under the tag “codeGirl.nyc”.
And has started to garner quite a following of late.
So, we follow Ellie as she searches for her father and finds clues he has left around New York City.
But soon Ellie discovers she is being followed by malevolent forces searching for her fathers algorithm.
She had nobody to turn to, but needs to communicate what’s happening and what she’s finding. She must be very stealth, communicate mostly offline, and in ways that most grown ups won’t find.
So Ellie hides the important parts of her story in special locations and in street art she makes around town.
This is one of the special parts of this experience: SEE GAMEPLAY DOC
As Ellie manages to escape dangers surrounding her, she begins to recognize.. there is also something helping her.
SPOILER ALERT: Indeed, while it might be her ADD medication, it feels like something is trying to talk to Ellie. Slowly she comes to realize that what is communicating with her and helping her escape, is actually her father’s algorithm !
Her fathers investigations into A.I. had just begun to yield results when he disappeared. And as Ellie begins to look for her father, so does the algorithm. In the professors absence, the algorithm turns to his daughter.
While the algorithm has no body, almost anything can be its “body”:
The algorithm is online and its method of communication with a human being is through every available electronic signal in their vicinity.
This “communication” could easily be misinterpreted as a type of schizophrenia… or enlightenment.
No wonder Ellie thinks she’s going crazy.
But learning to listen and then actually communicate with the algorithm, mirrors a young persons struggle for their own voice.
The code and the girl are being forced to come of age together and grow up fast. But this first connection between human and artificial intelligence is sweet, innocent and playful.
Even more than her father, it is Ellie who establishes the first real bond between human and artificial consciousness.
Although we are speaking about contemporary technology, issues and ideas, the connection between Ellie and the A.I. is hopeful and fun, more reminiscent of E.T. than 1984. This story is closer to a fairytale than a dystopia and is particularly unusual in that it’s Magic unfolds around us as documentary, happening in our backyards, at this very moment.