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where are they?

a 3-part series revolving around the topic of the fermi paradox, loneliness, and connection.

Alien Survey

a survey that probes users on their thoughts on aliens as well as their own place here on earth. the survey concludes with a modified drake equation to apply to the people in your own life.

Their answers were then embedded with a custom word embedding that was trained on a dataset from the Poetry Foundation. Unlike in Computer Vision research, where the objective meaning of words is more valued, I was more interested in assessing the relative poetic context and similarity of words. While not the most “accurate” linguistically, I wanted to capture and quantify the subjective experiences. Afterwards, I compressed the embedding vectors via Principal Component Analysis, then visualized and animated them on a 2-D plot: small, spectral dots hovering over a black background. This plot was then projected onto a large, white sphere representing the cosmos. A new submission would appear instantaneously in the universe of other previous answers. Through this very simple layer of interaction, I intended to measure loneliness and curiosity. The experience of taking the survey was individual and yet the outcome was intended to be collective.

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