Colonization of Mars ---> Immigration to Mars
To narrow my project focus for the final presentation, I decided that I wanted to assume that the human race has already established and colonized Mars and that I was acting as an individual which was recruiting people from Earth to immigrate to the planet.
Here is my process to get to where I ended up in the final:
After learning about Speculative Design, I was very interested in creating my final around the topic of Speculative Futures. Additionally, after presenting my daily practice audition tapes (#3 above), I got some positive feedback to consider moving this project into that direction. At first I was reluctant to do this, but in the end I decided that it was something I enjoyed doing and wanted to explore this potential way of presenting my commentary on immigration to Mars.
With that said, I researched the techniques of army and cult recruitment to create a character that I would play in the room for the final presentation--- I called myself Lt. Chris Stanley. The presentation was Lt. Stanley speaking at an info session, trying to convince the students in the class that the move to Mars was something that they should seriously consider. I focused on the opportunities that this planet has and encouraged them to submit all data about themselves so that they could be considered in the selection process. Obviously, the motivation of the Mars Department of Homeland Security is not only to maintain the human race by moving humans to another planet, but also there is definitely a push here to gain more information about our citizens.
To be considered to be selected to go to the Premium Planet, The Silicon Valley In The Sky, aka. Mars, the individuals would have to give up their agency to the Mars Department of Homeland Security in the following ways (only the elite/individuals that scored well would be selected to immigrate to Mars):
- Video Interview or In-Person Interview for Psychological Analysis
- 65 page questionnaire about your personal background and current life
- Social media access
- Genetic Information
As for #1 on the list, 'fit' individuals would be psychologically analyzed by AI and Machine learning as to whether they would be chosen to go. Based on our current face tracking technologies, I was able to gather the following information from the faces of the following audition tapes that I created:
Simply based on this psychological analysis, neither of these individuals would be selected to immigrate to Mars. Truthful < 80% doesn't look that great, does it? However, this is very problematic because of the biases we are already aware of in Machine Learning and AI.
Regarding #3 above, in current immigration practices at the airport, people are asked to unlock their phones so that the border officers can look in to their social media profiles for concerning posts. Here are just a couple of articles about this:
With that said, if the Mars Department of Homeland Security asks for this information to immigrate to Mars, it shouldn't seem strange, right? ...
As for the last request (#4 Genetic Information), I think this is the most alarming part of this commentary piece. Can you imagine if this was a prerequisite to supply to come into a country? Are we moving in this direction? It might very well be the case when people want to move to Mars...
It's hard to say if anyone from the class would have actually moved to Mars and was convinced from my info session, but I think they got the point that there should start to be a real discussion about the following points:
- Who will get to go to Mars?
- Who will be the people that get to choose who gets to go to Mars?
There was one aspect that I wanted to include in my presentation that I ended up cutting out because I wasn't sure if it would land well.
I was still going to present the final as a recruitment info session about immigration to Mars, but what I wanted to start off with was to present each individual in the room with a pill (the demo pill that I would hold would look like this with the LED active),
and I would expect each individual in the room to consume their pill. In the pills that I would be handing out to the room, they would simply be filled with sugar and to make it seem more real, I would inform them that the LED tracker would, in fact, light up once it was in the stomach fluid. Since this is a Speculative Future, I would inform them that this tracker would remain in their system for 1 week and the Mars Department of Homeland Security would be collecting these trackers at the end of the week. These trackers would give us the information of the following:
- Genetic Data
- GPS Data (where did you go in the last week? Your psychologist? Spa? Are you taking care of yourself?)
- Heart rate (Are you doing Cardio in your weekly routine, etc.)
Along with taking this pill, we would ask for the 65 page questionnaire and social media access.
If people in the room didn't take the pill (remember, it is just a sugar pill for the demo) they would be asked to leave the room (I was then thinking of streaming my presentation out into the hall so that those students could see the presentation, but if this was a real case scenario, the people that aren't willing to give up all their agency right there and then, they would be asked to leave the premises.) I thought the idea of pressuring the individuals in the room to give up their agency right there and then, might be an interesting experiment, but as I mentioned, I decided not to do this.
For those that decided to take the pill, I would have given an altered, but similar presentation to the deck linked above.