NEW FRIENDLY INTERFACE is a sensitive and expressive computer interface designed to help individuals who consider themselves to be emotionally deficient, socially inept, or who otherwise require supplemental affective labor.

The interface was created with tomorrow’s digital laborer in mind.

Leveraging emotion recognition software to conduct variable-length, “face-to-face” conversations, the Artificial Empathy (or A.E.) service engages with users as a constructed stand-in for individuals to practice and develop their non-verbal, affective, and empathetic proficiency.

NEW FRIENDLY INTERFACE was on view at the Broad Art Center EDA for the UCLA DMA 2018 Senior Exhibition, Authentication Error [SOLVED].

The installation model includes a thermal printer component, which – at the end of their stay – offers visitors a physical copy of their personal conversation log to take home.

The Web Experience for NEW FRIENDLY INTERFACE will be publicly available soon.


The Great Tortis Crossing is a mixed reality experience made for the travelers, the searchers, and the trailblazers of the modern world. Set in an unknown desert landscape, one player must lead the Great Tortis, a massive tortoise specimen never before seen, on an exodus through the surreal – and seemingly unending – depths of the virtual unknown. There, the player may engage with the native species of the land, who follow curiously but maintain their distance.

In the midst of this dusty and crafted landscape, there is something eerily familiar. Drones surveil the player as they navigate the desert, broadcasting their live feeds onto deteriorating billboards scattered throughout the sand.

Contending with contemporary issues and themes such as virtual voyeurism, multiplicity of presence, and pioneerism, The Great Tortis Crossing offers a surreal and microcosmic experience for the player to enjoy and reflect upon.

Tyler Yin – Visual & Interactive Lead, World Designer, Unity Developer
Joaquin Barlow – Narrative Lead, Character Animator, Sound Designer

Theo Triantafyllidis, Stalgia Grigg, and Stefanie Tam.


A simulation and proposal for the perpetual cluttering and accumulation of unused items in physical and virtual spaces. All said spaces – including living areas, personal storage, and hard drives – can be populated with objects, data, and content. During periods of disengagement, ambient processes generate a buildup of the useless and forgotten. This program attempts to visualize and replicate that accumulation. If left running indefinitely, the simulation will continue to produce countless quantities of objects, hoarding all virtual memory from its hardware, until it can no longer operate.

Featured in DIS- UCLA Design | Media Arts Exhibition 2018.


Empathic Topographies is an interactive installation that uses facial recognition and blob detection algorithms to measure and respond to interpersonal dynamics. Different solo and group interactions trigger different visual phases – color and brightness values shift as additional faces are detected, and the distance between them changes.

Subtitles guide participants by providing suggestions for a more complete experience with the installation. The custom software calculates a flattened, two-dimensional distance between detected faces, as well as a topographical pulse of the installation space.

This project was made in collaboration with Lilyan Kris, Rosalind Chang, and Alison Jeng.


A video experiment driven by the question: "how can we quantify a body of qualitative research information?"

The sequence was produced using a custom process inspired by the framework of transcript poetry. Leveraging several open source machine learning technologies (such as speech-to-text dictation and sentiment analysis), video documentation of Cleve Backster's life-long work with plants and lie-detectors is parsed, labeled, and restructured accordingly.

LAST UPDATED: 05.27.19, 23:50 PST