ARTIFICIAL EXCLUSIVE: Chatting With Emmy-Winning Creator Bernie Su And Actress Tiffany Chu

We recently broke some casting news for Twitch's interactive scripted sci-fi show Artificial, and now we're happy to share our exclusive chat with Bernie Su and Tiffany Chu. Check out what they had to say!

Twitch has been pushing the evolution of modern television by introducing a scripted sci-fi series called Artificial with an advanced interactive aspect to it. The audience is able to come together and impact character development and story progression as a community on the platform. Although Twitch has hosted the series for two seasons, the third season marks the first in which the company is a full partner on the show.

The series follows an AI played by actress Tiffany Chu (Ms. Purple) as she attempts to become human. It was created by Bernie Su, who was the first person to win Youtube a Primetime Emmy for The Lizzie Bennett Diaries.

We recently spoke with a number of the cast members including Dante Basco (Hook), Justin Lee (Arrested Development), Devon Werkheiser (Ned's Declassified School Survival Guide), Tohoru Masamune (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles), Christy St, John (The Amityville Terror), Jennifer Field (9-1-1), La Trice Harper (The Shield), Alejandra Reynoso (Castlevania), Stephen Chang (Last of Us II), and more. 

Below, you can check out our chat with Bernie Su and Tiffany Chu!

Joe: Could you explain to me exactly what Artificial is?

Bernie Su: Sure! Artificial is a live scripted sci-fi interactive series on Twitch. The audience together influences the experience. It's not like a video game, but instead, it's a collective experience. It's not a single person experience, it's dynamic.

Joe: How does a scripted show like this differ from a non-interactive series?

Bernie Su: So many ways! If we were to do the same exact show on a non-interactive platform then we would write all of the episodes and churn them all out together and call it a day and put the show on the air. We don't do that. We write and shoot and air all in the same process.

Joe: We broke the news that Dante Basco has joined the cast. I'm curious if you have worked with him in the past or are familiar with his work?

Bernie Su: I'm very familiar with his work. Obviously I know Hook very well and Avatar: The Last Airbender. We've always wanted to work together and so when I had the chance to pitch him this idea about interactive storytelling and I told him that the audience would be choosing his character he was like "I'm in!" And what a cool way to have this level of audience interaction, and he kind of likened it to D&D character creation.

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Joe: I'd like to start by asking you to describe Artificial in your own words.

Tiffany Chu: Artificial is an interactive sci-fi series on Twitch and the story follows an artificial intelligence who is on her quest to become human. And because it's on Twitch, the audience can alter the story and interact with the characters.

Joe: Can I ask what initially attracted you to the project?

Tiffany Chu: When Bernie mentioned that a show like this had never been done before I thought that I had to try and go for it. I really like the fact that because it has never been done before it creates a great challenge for all of us.

Joe: Was there a lot of trial and error to begin with or did it run smoothly from the start?

Tiffany Chu: There was definitely some trial and error since this has never been done especially on a platform like Twitch. So the technical things and figuring out the best way to go about shooting and things like that was the biggest challenge.

Joe: How does an interactive experience like Artificial differ from your normal acting roles. Is your approach any different?

Tiffany Chu: As far as the role yes, because of the artificial intelligence. I have never done theatre before and we're doing a virtual show basically. The audience can alter the future so I have to be prepared for multiple branches of how the story could go, but really I have no idea how the story is going to go.

Joe: I know that you act as well as producing and directing, Tiffany. Which of those hats are you most comfortable wearing?

Tiffany Chu: Well they're all very different creative mindsets, but I enjoy all of them.

Joe: How have things changed since getting Twitch's support?

Tiffany Chu: Well one of the big things that we added this season through Twitch is LifeScore, which is an AI component that changes the music based on what's happening in the chat live.

Joe: Can you share any trivia or behind the scenes tidbits about Artificial?

Tiffany Chu: When I first started acting my first acting coach said that I acted like a robot, which I don't think he meant as a compliment, but here I am!

Joe: We announced Dante Basco's involvement with the show, have you ever worked with him before?

Tiffany Chu: I have not worked with him before but I think it's really interesting because the difference is that we've already cast the actor and now the audience will choose what kind of role he will play.

What do you guys think of these comments from Bernie and Tiffany? If you're interested in hearing the audio component of the interview, you can do so below, and be sure to share your thoughts in the usual spot!

Season 3 follows Elle (Christy St. John), a brand new character in the world of "Artificial." Elle is a wildly idealistic and brilliant young scientist who is leading a live-streamed experience to help an artificial intelligence, “SV3” (Tiffany Chu), become human, using the help of the Twitch audience to do so. She’s vibrant, bold, and a bit quirky: a perfect match for Twitch.

Still licking the wounds suffered from the fall of Sophie Version 2 (“SV2”), who the audience decided should be deactivated, Sebastian (Stephen Chang) and his organization see an opportunity to relaunch a new Artificial Intelligence being using the technology that Dr. Matt Lin (Tohoru Masamune) first used to bring Sophie to life.

After installing a blank slate consciousness into Sophie’s old shell, “SV3” is activated and quarantined to a single home. Not wanting to repeat the same mistake of AI homicide that her predecessor Sophie (SV2) made, Sebastian rules that no humans are allowed to physically interact with SV3. He hires Elle, a cognitive science graduate student, to help raise this isolated SV3 in front of a live Twitch audience. 

New episodes of Artificial air each Thursday at 5 pm PT/8 pm ET, and you can catch up here.

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