Mask Unmasked

A speculative design practice utilizing artificial intelligence to combat emerging challenges.

Synopsis of an Alternative World

Transhumanism--enhancing human intellect with technology--has become reality. An expensive, ethically-complex, and biologically-dangerous computer-brain integration--or neurolace--has been introduced into mainstream culture, proliferating corporate invasion of privacy through data aggregation. According to founder Elon Musk, this new technology, implanted into adults over 18, counters the domination of superintelligent machines and maintains economic viability.

Today is the high school commencement ceremony, when students remove masks. They have the opportunity to receive the neurolace implant by applying for a scholarship. Only a few are “lucky” after graduation.

High school youth adorn masks that employ similar artificial intelligence provided by a capitalist-driven, more privatized education system. Governmental protections for underage people stipulate that the mask has to block surveillance and facial recognition from public cameras and neurolace.

But some youth resist this need for neurolace post-high school. They hack their assigned masks to provide safety, privacy, educational access, and augmented reality without the advertisements and invasiveness.