Chang situates herself as a graphic designer, interactive designer and a curator. By using different mediums, Chang’s work leads us to re-examine the relationship between humans and technology while talking about people’s processing of emotions and death in the future. Instead of thinking about solving problems, Chang presents her work as speculative design. She believes that Design’s inherent optimism leaves no alternative but it is becoming clear that many of the challenges we face today are unfixable and that the only way to overcome them is by changing our values, beliefs, attitudes, and behaviour. Therefore, She would rather use her design work to trigger people’s thoughts on today’s social issues by opening up new perspectives on these ‘wicked problems’.
In the book ‘What Technology Wants’, Kevin Kelly suggests that technology is a living entity and we should listen to what it wants. As the group most likely to become our future companions, we should really learn more about how artificial intelligence infects our emotions through dialogue and behaviours. Imagine when Artificial Intelligence has been completely integrated with our lives. They will participate in every minute of our lives. Even some big moments like death.
If AI or other kinds of technology allows us to extend our lives in the future, our friends and family may no longer die in the same way they do now. We will no longer be immersed in the grief caused by death. Death would become a very untroubled topic. If we were able to eliminate grief – should we?
In Grayson Perry’s documentary Rites of Passage, he called on us to give death more space, more time and to reframe these big moments in our life. He also asked “When do we really die? Maybe we die when we are forgotten or we are not loved anymore.” Dr Colin Murray Parkes’s word “Grief is the price for love.” is known by a lot of people. The pain attached to grief is just as much part of life as the joy of love. To ignore this connection, or to pretend that it is not so, is to put on emotional blinkers which leave us unprepared for the loss.
If we no longer feel grief with death, will death still be death? Will humans still care for and love others?
The customers of Life Express live in 2310 – where people extend their lives with the help of AI technology. People upload their data of memories and logic to be saved forever in this world. They would no longer die in the traditional sense. The only problem is that they still have to change their body regularly to ensure the operation of the A.I. program (just like changing some components). The funeral companies here will provide facilities and services for people to dispose of and remodel their
Users can book a time slot in advance with their app and locate a blue capsule in the street, following the guide system to finish their funeral.
Life Express provides online funerals for people to invite their friends, so that they can get a video with all their friends’ messages on their funeral day. People can get an urn collection every time they hold a funeral as well.