Ever wanted to be a spook? AI-Spy was a voice-driven installation at the Broadgate Centre in London, giving visitors the chance to be interviewed by Alistair, an artificially intelligent recruitment agent. Depending on their answers, candidates were then allocated a role with the fictional British intelligence service, AI6.

The interviews were entirely voice-based – visitors spoke to Alistair who then replied in kind – and the whole experience could be enjoyed either in VR or on a flat screen with headphones and a mic. Face tracking measured the interviewees’ emotional state and made basic assessments of age and gender.

I wrote the script for Alistair using the platform, based on a structure developed by To Play For and Royal Holloway University. The whole project was designed to help the university research how people respond to AI in stressful situations.

The installation ran for two weeks, gathering valuable academic data and field-testing some pretty advanced interactive technologies.