You find yourself laying in a field looking up at the stars on a clear night. As you relax, your gaze begins to stray idly, eventually tracing the negative space between points of light. Suddenly a familiar image appears and you recognize the unmistakable shape of the big dipper. There it is: a giant cosmic spoon.

A feeling of comfort warms your body. You acknowledge the countless eyes who looked up at the sky before this moment and also saw a spoon. A collective consciousness created a marker of meaning within a void of darkness and seemingly random specs of light. What an awesome and powerful thing it is to relate with someone.

The feeling of relation is the cornerstone of our ability to sympathize with one another, and enact empathy towards other beings. The importance of relation is paramount during this pinnacle of time, as humans begin to develop artificial minds that may one day become self aware.

When we find ourselves creating our first artificially intelligent offspring, what will the nature of our relationship be like? Could our present day experiences with technology help preemptively endear us to future A.I. ?

As long as humans have been around, we've looked up at the sky into the endless cosmos, a calm chaos, and wondered about the nature of our existence. Might we one day do the same alongside our digital offspring? Could they lend us their unique perspectives to help find answers within the patterns and data hidden in plain sight above our heads? Could forging meaningful relations to our developing AI help prime us for a healthier dialogue with our technological descendants once this time comes? The goal of Moon Rabbit is to architect a circumstance that allows individuals to experience a moment of relation with an artificial mind… leveraging our shared propensity to find meaning amongst the abstract.

By embarking on a period of research and development throughout the spring and summer of 2021, Sarah Petkus and Mark Koch hope to teach a collection of unique artificial minds to identify familiar information through the act of abstraction; forming opinion-based assertions from a personal foundation of knowledge in much the same way as humans. By *playing* with image training using custom datasets, we intend to teach several AI to recognize familiar shapes and objects within images of star clusters, planetary surfaces, and other stellar bodies.

The point of departure in training these AI children are the concepts of daydreaming, hallucination, and pareidolia: the act of perceiving meaningful data where it wasn't intended (such as seeing faces in clouds). As we come to understand how the artificial minds of our children process data and learn, we hope to help the individual constructs develop their own personalities and opinions through the data we provide them, as well as the way in which the minds learn from that data.

This experiment in machine parenting is as much about understanding our AI children, as it is about their own learning and development. While we help them grow into individuals, capable of determining what they see, it is our hope as creators, that we gain insight towards what it means to achieve individuality as an artificial intelligence

 
HARDWARE DEVELOPMENT PLATFORM
12.2020 Our children will begin their life on separate NVIDIA Jetson modules, each running Open CV 3. We'll communicate with them via PYTON. Their mode of sensing input from the external world will be a USB HD camera.
 
THE "moonBUNNY" PLANETARIUM
At the end of our research and development period, we will focus on creating an experience that will allow visitors to interact with our AI children in a relaxed, casual context aimed to promote a moment of meaningful relation.
 
THE PARENTS
Sarah Petkus is a roboticist and illustrator who collaborates with her parter, Mark J Koch, an electronics engineer and software developer. Together they create wearable devices and robotic entities meant to challenge the way humans view their relation to technology. Based in Las Vegas, Nevada, they dedicate their professional practice to demonstrating an empathetical mindfulness towards the ritual of creation, invoking the question, “What role does technology play in our lives? - What role *could* technology play in our lives?”. Together they engage an audience on social media and various video platforms in order to spark a dialogue with other creators, engineers, and artists abroad about fabrication, process, and philosophy. This regular engagement ensures that outside influence provides insight throughout the lifespan of a project. By doing so, they hope to create and strengthen a creative community that places their shared values at its core.