Ian Cheng’s Life After BOB imagines a future world in which our minds are co-inhabited by AI entities. Bridging simulation's capacity to generate emergent surprising phenomena, with cinematic storytelling's capacity to evoke deep psychological truths, Life After BOB asks: How will life lived with AI transform the archetypal scripts that guide our sense of a meaningful existence?
In episode one - The Chalice Study - neural engineer Dr. Wong has installed an experimental AI named BOB (“Bag of Beliefs”) into the nervous system of his 10-year-old daughter Chalice. Designed to guide Chalice through the challenges of growing up in a volatile world, BOB confronts more and more of the conflicts in Chalice’s life on her behalf, while Chalice grows increasingly irrelevant and escapist. As Dr. Wong begins to favor the BOB side of his daughter, and as BOB threatens to do the job of living Chalice’s life better than she can, Chalice jealously wonders: what is left for her classic human self to do?