July 7, 2018

Meet Ava


In 2015, an Adweek staffer Brock matched with Ava—a 25-year-old who likes drawing and busy intersections—on Tinder. Like Brock, Ava was also visiting Austin from out of town for SXSW, so he messaged her his best pickup line.


Despite the awkward flirting, Brock passed Ava’s test. She invited him to browse her Instagram profile to see more photos, but searching for @meetava brought up just two posts: A 15-second teaser for meet-ava.com, and this image:


The Ex Machina ad campaign by Watson/DG was written about in Newsweek, Time, and Wired. Ava was the talk of SXSW—by the end of the conference, 400 people had matched with her on Tinder. “Be sure to drink your Ovaltine.”

But what if instead of making the reveal through Instagram, Ava had sent Brock a confirmation code for a SXSW Film Festival screening with instructions to meet up at the Topfer Theatre that night?

What if she sent a reassuring DM just before moviegoers were told to put away their phones, explaining that she was running late but they would be together “very soon”?

What if Watson/DG held a screening of Ex Machina where 400 seats were taken by people who matched with Ava at SXSW and passed her test?

In the right settings and contexts, these kinds of experiences can be playful and immersive in ways that blur the line between what’s real and what’s virtual. They can introduce people to new technologies, like chatbots and conversational games, in ways that excite and inspire.

I’m using this site to keep track of interesting AI projects as I come across them. If you have any tips, leave a comment or ping me on Twitter. I’m glad you’re here.

2018 Brian Rose