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Generated Man

Generated Man looks at how we are represented on the internet by drawing an analogy between personal profiling and role playing games. Increasingly, more internet services track you while you are online in order to create a ‘personalized’ web experience. Tracking means that you end up portrayed by statistics.

The way Google chooses which search results and advertisements to show is probably the most famous example of this. To decide what you are interested in, Google creates a digital persona based on your previous web behaviour. This data is analogous to a character sheet used in role playing games.

Generated Man flips the Google system around, starting with a character sheet and ending with a personality. The values on the sheet are fed into Google’s search engine, which suggests websites based on what it computes as the personality of the artificial web user. The generated personality is presented as a collection of models that the software chooses from Google’s 3D Warehouse.The final collection of images is a portrait of the artificial mediator that represents us on the internet.

The outcomes of the project are a working computer program and a book containing research and software design details.

October 2011-June 2012

Book design: Ilona Gaynor

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