Art.CHI 2017

Interactive Media Works

A CHI2017 Exhibition


Karen by Blast Theory. Image credit RULER

Karen is a life coach and she's happy to help you work through a few things in your life.

You interact with Karen through an app. When you begin, she asks you some questions about your outlook on the world to get an understanding of you. In fact, her questions are drawn from psychological profiling questionnaires. She – and the software – are profiling you and she gives you advice based on your answers.

Over the next week you have calls with Karen once or twice a day. Working from home as a freelancer, it soon becomes clear that Karen is slightly chaotic with few boundaries between her personal and professional lives. She overshares and in return is very nosy about you. Before long she is becoming very friendly and wants to speak often.

The app uses psychological profiling behind the scenes and many of the questions that Karen asks you are drawn from psychometric tests. As the app categorises you accordingly, the nature of the story is adapted.

On completing the experience, participants can purchase a personalised data report showing what data were captured, how they were used and which psychometric tests they were drawn from.

Karen by Blast Theory, developed in partnership with National Theatre Wales
Co-commissioned by The Space and 539 Kickstarter backers. Karen has been developed with support from the Mixed Reality Lab at the University of Nottingham and in collaboration with Dr Kelly Page