Tomorrow is the Season 3 finale of Artificial: Remote Intelligence on Twitch. As the multiple Emmy Award-winning interactive sci-fi series comes to an end, we're rounding out our exclusive interviews with the cast.
Today, we're excited to share our conversation with the multi-talented novelist, actress, podcast host, and Wrestlicious alumn La Trice "Lil Slamm" Harper. We talk about AI sentience and who is to blame when a robot murders someone, how much we are reliant on technology, and plenty about her Artificial character.
Since we were on the subject of sci-fi, we also picked her brain to learn a little bit about another project of hers, Cosmo, which is currently streaming in festivals and sounds like it may be in the vein of Firefly. We've also embedded our other chats with the Artificial cast and crew for anyone who hasn't been tuning in to our Artificial finale countdown.
To listen to our chat with La Trice, click the podcast player below. Otherwise, scroll down for the transcript to see what she has to say!
1m 37s - Literary Joe: Other than Artificial, what else do you have going on? Do you have any other projects in the works, or is COVID just shutting everything down?
1m 45s - Latrice Harper: COVID is taking a little bit of a toll on the business and everything; however, as you said, Artificial is going on. So that's always good. It's a good learning experience, and it's a fantastic team and a fantastic show to be on, especially during a time like this, where I'm learning to do new things. I also got a little tiny something on Yellowstone that will be coming out next year if I'm not mistaken.
2m 26s - Literary Joe: Tell me about what's been going on for Carmen in Artificial?
2m 30s - Latrice Harper: The last time we saw Carmen, she's been trying to help Matt with what he's going through. We saw a little bit of a connection happening again with Carmen and Justin, where the relationship is still somewhat iffy, on edge. They will always be great friends, but the whole fact that Lilith was trying to ship them just to create the Justmen ship, that was super awkward for both of them.
3m 5s - Literary Joe: You guys have a history on, is it, Artificial Uncovered?
3m 9s - Latrice Harper: Yes. That was our podcast that we were doing for season two. Indeed. The podcast covered the life of Sophie and her development, who was Lilith's predecessor, basically, before Lilith took her body and became the new AI that we are now learning about and whose story we're following.
3m 57s - Literary Joe: You were talking about Matt a little bit. What did you think of the trial?
4m 7s - Latrice Harper: Carmen felt that it was insane! Like it was crazy. In a way, it was possible for Matt to be exonerated, but if it hadn't turned out the way it had, it would have destroyed his life. For Carmen, trying to be a friend to Matt and trying to see the light at the end of the tunnel and trying to get him to see that there are other ways of doing things and coming out of this horrible situation intact and able to still create in the future. She saw that as taking a huge risk. Of course, it was amazing to see, and thank goodness it turned out. I'm sure she's happy about that. But at the same time, she was a little on edge about it. Latrice, me, thought it was awesome. It was so cool to see and watch the audience engage and watch everybody freaking out and trying to sway each other's vote like, "no, no, no about this, about that" it was cool to see, and at the same time, I was so worried. I was like, "Oh my gosh. They have to say that he's innocent. They have to have to!" And they did, so thank goodness.
5m 22s - Literary Joe: Can you tell me about the similarities and the differences between the Latrice and Carmen?
5m 29s - Latrice Harper: What's interesting is the two girls are kind of the same. They have a lot of the same qualities, a lot of the same beliefs. I think that Carmen's probably a little bit stiffer than I am. But when it comes to AI, we agree that it's dangerous. It's great technology when used correctly, and it adds a lot to our lives; it makes our life so much easier, but at the same time, there are trade-offs for that. And if anything ever goes wrong, it was the question that I'm always asking myself, and Carmen is always asking herself and others. What happens when it goes wrong? And are we prepared for that? So we have that in common. I wouldn't even say so much as big as Skynet as just what if our computers shut down, and we can't make things that we need. It's that thing that I always tell people: "leave your phone at home one day and leave without it. And you try to live your life without your phone. One day, the amount of panic that creates shows how reliant we are. What if there was some super-virus that took all of our computers away for a month. We would shut down. We're so reliant on computers and AI and things like that. At this point, it's like, is it helping our lives or running our lives? I know that sounds extreme. There could come a day where it's like, "Oh my gosh, it's just all AI running everything." And we were just living with their help that we desperately need. And that's a scary thought.
7m 31s - Literary Joe: When you bring a person into it, like Sophie or a Lilith, I'm curious, what are your views on that? Do you think that they should be shut down? I know how Carmen feels, but when you look at it up close they're not really like a computer, because there's a bit of consciousness.
7m 48s - Latrice Harper: I don't necessarily say that they should be shut down, but it's hard. It's not an easy black and white; there's such a substantial gray area. It's like, how sentient is it? How much does it think and feel? Can they feel? It's when you start crossing those lines that you start having to wonder. And like I said, I wouldn't necessarily say that they all need to be shut down, but closely monitored and given limited freedom, which gets you into the situation of is that right? If its something conscious, it's not right to withhold their freedom. It's so hard. I know that I did not answer the question at all.
8m 47s - Literary Joe: Well, I just wanted to put you on the spot and make your life hard. But It begs the question, how much of that is imprinted from Matt Lin? How much of that is an actual thought process of its own? Since the podcast has somewhat shut down and your character, has Carmen has evolved from that? How would you say that her character has changed?
9m 26s - Latrice Harper: Carmen misses the podcast. She misses hanging out with Justin and interviewing these people and learning about them and their lives and their technology. But what's changed for her the most was season two's finale when Sophie murdered a human being. Any little bit of trust and openness that she may have had about AI was deeply affected by that. Carmen is not the type that walks around in fear, but it put a pause on supporting that in, "we'll just create another one or do this, or do that," any support that she would have been able to give him in that regard, I think is not gone, but she'll be hesitant.
10m 29s - Literary Joe: I know that a fourth season is up in the air right now, but what would you like to see change or happen differently in the future regarding the story or character-wise?
11m 9s - Latrice Harper: That's a great question. I'm honestly excited to see how going into season four and how things will happen in regards to COVID. I'm kind of excited to see how that might turn out. If COVID is not an issue anymore, where will the show go? Like how will we be shooting? Cause, as I said, it's so innovative, the way that they've done this season is mind-blowing. I will be curious to see what would happen with Doctor Matt Lin. That character was relatively near and dear to my heart. Justin is too. But he's just a soul who is so loving and caring about his work and what he's created, what he's done. But at the same time and that has shattered his soul. I will be very interested to see where everything is going to go with him in the future.
17m 40s - Literary Joe: Is there anything else about any of your projects or Artificial that you want to include before we wrap up?
17m 49s - Latrice Harper: If you're reading or listening to this and you haven't seen it yet, do yourself a favor and check it out because it's awesome. Artificial, it's awesome on so many levels, and it's a show that again, adapted during the time of the shutdown and kept running production. It's very diverse. It's a show about AI that has AI in it when you think about Lifescore. Amazing actors. And it is a great crew, great stories. It's a great ride. I would say if you haven't seen it yet, check it out for sure. Cause I feel there is nothing like it, right? Where the viewers are literally helping write the script. It's hard to compare it to anything else because the viewers are, during world-building episodes, they are helping write scenes during the shows. They're helping make choices that can't be reversed. These things have consequences for them. They are helping write the music, and they're speaking to each other, they are engaging. It's created a community, the Artificial family. I honestly can't think of a show that is like it. I'm just being honest that there's nothing that I can think of like It streaming right now. And there is one other thing. Cosmo. Check Cosmo out, look up Cosmo, and that's a fun ride too. It's a short film period piece that is - I don't want to give too much away - like sci-fi and Western at the same time, but it's got a great twist. That's a fun ride. But that's good. [Firefly is] a fair comparison. It's in festivals now; it will probably be up sometime soon.
*This interview has been edited for clarity.*
Artificial is a Live and Interactive Science Fiction series where the audience changes the story. Co-creator and Showrunner Bernie Su walks you through what makes this series so unique. It is the first original sci-fi series on Twitch and was the winner of the 2019 Primetime Emmy Award for Innovation in Interactive Media.
You can catch the Season 3 finale of Artificial: Remote Intelligence on Twitch this Thursday at 5 pm PST.