If you were an animal, would you be a cat or a dog? If you were a color, which one would you be? Which superhero are you? Can we have your email address? Your photo? Your name? Your credit card?
Welcome to the busy interactive world of the Fleet Science Center’s new “Digital Me” exhibit, where visitors can take fun personality quizzes, experiment with artificial intelligence and watch as their digital faces become a public work of art.
And while they’re clicking and posing, the exhibit will help them ponder one of the more pressing question of our digital age: Should I be enchanted or spooked?
The “Digital Me” answer is: “Yes.” On both counts.
“This just feels very topical, because it is all about things that are happening in the world on a regular basis,” said Karla Nafarrate, the Fleet’s marketing and communications manager.
“After the pandemic, our main mode of communication was digital. We were streaming everything, and we were on Zoom all the time. That was the way we were connecting. But the internet can be a very scary place. It can be very useful, but there are a lot of things people don’t take into consideration.”
This state-of-the-art exhibition from the Israel National Museum of Science, Technology, and Space is making its world premiere at the Fleet Science Center in Balboa Park. And in keeping with the “Digital Me” blend of amusement and advocacy, your experience starts with a typical modern-day trade-off.
Something fun from them in exchange for something personal from you.
If you check in at one of the many colorful screen stations at the exhibit’s entrance, your image will be captured by facial recognition technology. The information will be used to track you throughout the exhibit. When you visit another screen on the way out, it will read your face (even with a mask), and then it will remind you of the results of those fun little quizzes you took and show you all of the photos that were taken of you during your visit.
Because this is an examination of the Internet and not the Internet itself, the only information you have to divulge is a name, which you are free to make up. No one will be asking for your credit card or your email address. The Fleet will not be sharing your name or your image with anyone, and all information will be deleted once you exit the exhibit.