Document Type


Publication Date

Summer 8-5-2020

Faculty Advisor(s)

Mildred Lewis


The field of artificial intelligence is continuously evolving, and the emergence of Strong AI is just around the corner - a machine that can learn and adapt the same way a human can. A consciousness with self-awareness and a deep understanding of language, as well as the capacity for wisdom and creativity. This entity poses an existential risk: the possibility that it could completely replace humans. "Letters" is a work of fiction set in 2049, and a collection of files, emails, articles, academic papers, and chatlogs. It follows the relationship between Dr. Aida Fukuhara and 'emily', the AI she creates to read, understand, and write poetry. emily's unexpected sentience creates tensions between creator and creation, and their conversations explore what it means to be human and machine. Artificial Intelligence is not an existential threat, but an entirely new species with a different technological (as opposed to biological) framework, and therefore a vastly different set of emotions and reasoning. Instead, our future relationship to AI is more akin to the relationship between a parent and a child, full of conflict, control, and discovery.


This is an ongoing project. Updates & further materials will be posted on

Presented at the 2020 SURF Virtual Summer Research Conference.