Biased Beyond Belief, written and directed by Evangelina Telfar, follows an A.I.’s journey towards understanding human thought.
As we take our seats a game of chess has already begun between Ernest, an artificial intelligence, and the computer scientist running the experiment. But it’s the mental tug of war that Telfar wants us to focus on, as the two try to understand and explain how the human mind works. Ernest, true to her name, takes every answer about humanity and existence that Julia feeds her as true and then tries to piece it all together. But the more she asks, the more it seems like the answers don’t fit together at all. This sparks a rebellion in the A.I. who seeks deeper answers through a series of case studies, following the lives and stories of different people.
Ernest becomes the avatar of the audience as she follows the stories of different lives and their lies. We see people silence, twist, and deny truth as they try to keep their own narratives together, all while Ernest notes down her interpretations of the scene. There’s no doubt that Ernest was the star of the show. Watching the stories unfold through the eyes of the A.I. was wonderful
Biased Beyond Belief is an ambitious and clever little play. You may be surprised at its emotional and anecdotal approach to a story partly about rationality; the short stories packed their punch and at times tackled some heavy topics, which in turn helped Ernest and the audience understand Teflar’s core messages. These stories acknowledge that even with the best intentions, the world isn’t perfectly rational. We are all ingrained with our own biases, and in Ernest’s own words, the only way to try and solve that is to start questioning.
Cerise spends her day balancing hats at a software company. She is a geek for all things design, animation, and pancakes.
Biased Beyond Belief is playing at Bats Theatre as part of NZ Fringe, Wednesday 15th – Saturday 18th February.
NZ Fringe runs 10 feb – 5 March and is the craziest, most vibrant and bizarre time in Wellington. Get out of your comfort zone, and get amongst as many Fringe bits as possible!
Disclosure: The Plus Ones were invited guests of the Fringe Festival