Breakfast Plays: Tech Will Tear Us Apart (?): The Conversation

Rob Drummond

Traverse Theatre Company

Traverse Theatre

From 18 August 2016 to 27 August 2016

Rating: ***

Review by Philip Fisher

This 30-minute metatheatrical sliver re-creates an online chat between extremely drunk Robert and artificial Alice, an (sic) chatbot.

Keith Fleming plays a depressed and confused man trying to come to terms with the suicide of a reasonably close friend. However, seeking comfort from a computer program, even one as sympathetic as the version played by Victoria Liddelle, was never likely to be a success.

It doesn't help that she seems programmed to deliver non sequiturs at times and appears uncertain about her empathetic abilities.

By the end of their conversation, Robert is no further forward in his efforts to understand the meaning of life and the need to continue, while viewers will have been left to ponder how AI will determine our future.