THE BLACK BOX BELLAGIO


Welcome to the Black Box Bellagio  - an unusual casino that won't take your money, but is after your freedom, integrity and private data instead. Play with the (un)fairness of expected values and chances, predicted risks, and giving up your identity. Disclaimer: The house always seems to win.

The internet services we think of as free are often paid for with our data: it is the price of access, and is used to determine our treatment and advantages. Our data feeds the algorithms which can unfairly or wrongly categorise, exclude or discriminate against us. The Black Box Bellagio uses the dynamics of a casino to communicate the asymmetry of this relationship. At this casino, like on the internet, your personal data determines the advantages you get, the luck and misfortune you experience, and how much it really costs you to play. In a casino, players compute expected probabilities, based on the factual, their intuition and their superstitions. In the same way, algorithms make guesses about us, based on our data. Think of someone who googles nail polish, who is automatically considered female. We know little about how these algorithms work, but are increasingly nudged and enticed towards choices based on their decisions.



On show at:
Live jazz performed by Liberati Quartet and Pistachtrio.
Photos by Charlotte Brand and Jimena Gauna for Waag.

Developed further in collaboration with Ymer Marinus and the Waag.

This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No. 732546.