Science Gallery

At the Science Gallery I argued with a robot about love and Rilke

A little-known fact about the Fairlight Computer Musical Instrument, the first sampling synthesiser, introduced in 1979, is that it incorporated a psychotherapist called Liza. Stressed musicians could key in an emotional problem and Liza would begin the session with the soothing opening: ‘What is it that troubles you about x?’ She was flummoxed by a frivolous question from my husband, an early Fairlight owner, about a hole in her bucket but dealt expeditiously with my nine-year-old stepson. When he told her to get lost, she shut the system down. The closing installation is a dismal graveyard of discarded Alexas still winking pink, blue and green The ghost in Fast Familiar’s