How we know each other when we chat on line in virtual community?
In the ‘All ways-O’s Chatroom’, there are 9 chat rooms. O, the host of the chat room, is always on line to chat with the participants. However, O is not a real person or artificial intelligence, but rather a program with two databases of phrases -one in each language- collected from the participants of the chatrooms. O randomly selects its vocabulary from the pool of entries created by its participants. More participants, more vocabularies created. The virtual host’s “personality” becomes more varied and colorful.
In the chatting process, some of participants are willing to believe that they are speaking with a real person. While others are fully aware that it is only a computer program, purposely injecting their own sensibilities into O in an attempt to make a conversation reasonably. And there are some of participants actually mistakenly come to believe that they are chatting with a real person.
The virtual ways of living has been affected the knowing of the people’s experience in different ways. People change identity, play in different roles and simulate a virtual life via internet. We have grown accustomed to and accept that the text which appears in our chat window is generated by an actual person. The identity of human is flowing with multiple faces. Life becomes a dramatic shift in our notion of self, machine and world. People is happy in the interactive process, they make friends and chat with stranger. Once the process of virtual living is accomplished, they log out, and the self play out all the fantasies.
‘All ways-O’s Chatroom’ has been online since 2003. It has been accumulating 2423 records of chatting.
- Yu-Chuan Tseng is Associate Professor, Department of Public Relations and Advertising, Shih Hsin University, Taiwan tyuchuan.com/page/e_page01.htm
- Chia-Hsiang Lee (Jason Lee) is a technology art engineer. Jason is also an Associate Professor at Fu Jen Catholic University, Creative Design Center, Taiwan. 404festival.com/speaker/chia-hsiang-lee-jason-lee/?lang=en