More Than AI Sandbox is a creative research and development programme. Watershed’s Sandbox methodology provides a facilitated space where participants have the chance to transform an experimental idea to a working prototype over three months of rapid research and development.  

Six teams have been commissioned to create new innovative prototypes that push creative boundaries and use creative technology to creatively and critically engage in ways of working with artificial intelligence and diverse networks of intelligence. 

More Than AI Sandbox is part of the MyWorld IDEAS programme, funded by UK Research and Innovation’s Strength in Places Fund to establish the West of England as the global centre of creative technology excellence. 

The Commissions 

Creatura Speculatrix  
Created by Domenica Landin x Playfool (Daniel Coppen and Saki Maruyama) 

The development of modern AI is centred on an assumption of the human brain as the focal point of all intelligence. Creatura Speculatrix explores an alternative path of AI evolution rooted in an understanding of intelligence beyond the human, one arising from the intricate interplay between the brain, body and environment. Through an immersive, artificial habitat, the project tells the natural history of Creatura Speculatrix, creature-like machines evolving from this broader understanding that prompts us to rethink what we understand about intelligence, and the diverse ways it can be expressed.  

Crip* Intelligence 
Created by Joseph Wilk (Poetic Computation), Jon Somerscale, and Cathy Mager 

Described as a ‘a serious game where disability destroys or rescues AI Foundation Models from the companies controlling them through a crip-rebellion, an AI resistance of care, intelligences and crip-fantasy,’ this project will create disability justice tests that score the ethics of common AI foundation models. Based on table top role playing games, groups of players will test models’ knowledge and perception of disability, for example a customer support chatbot. By making visible the inherent bias and prejudice constantly replicated in these systems, players will explore creative and playful responses to how they might ‘rescue’ them. By inverting techno- solutionism, the idea that technology will fix disability, Crip Intelligence’s starting point is that disability could save society from technology. 

*Crip is a term that we, along with some of our community, have reclaimed through disability scholarship, culture and activism. You can read about Crip reclamation here: 

The Expression Orchestra 
Created by Miles Warren, Gary-Martin Morgan, Leigh Davies, Greg Ryan (pyka) 

Collaborations with AI in areas like musical improv are in the moment, responsive and able to build on the joys of the offerings from those in the room. So can AI allow those who can’t play an instrument gain access to this musical experience? The Expression Orchestra comprises a collection of alternative, easy to use digital instruments designed to empower and broaden peoples’ access to musical performance primarily in educational settings, with a particular focus on SEN/D and ALN students. Sounds are created by a single point of interaction  e.g roll, throw, press. Creators, Pyka, will explore how  AI can make The Conductor, who sits at the centre of the experience, more capable of interpreting human interaction resulting in a richer musical expression for all. 

apothecary network  
Created by Marcus Berdaut, Zoe Palmer, Javie Huxley, Zaina Nesayem (The Uppsetters)  

the apothecary network is a prototype app that explores how creative tech and AI can play a part in climate action by sharing the knowledge required to establish a network of decolonial community apothecaries which centre herbalism, ancestral knowledge, community, collective joy and a connection with nature in radical, anti-racist ways, giving racialised and diaspora communities a sense of agency in green spaces. 

Glory Mold  
Created by (Produced Moon), and (Studio Areté). 

Welcome to 2349. For hundreds of years, the people of Earth have relied on Glory Mold to make their decisions, whether global conflict or personal drama. Part slime mold, part AI, Glory Mold has been incorporated into every aspect of life – but now, she’s disappearing. How has she shaped our world? What does her fusion of organic and artificial intelligences provide? What will we do without her? A speculative fiction installation created by Produced Moon and produced by Studio Areté, Glory Mold is an investigation of alternate intelligences. Featuring an interactive AI character influenced by real-time organic data, as well as artefacts from our imagined future, the experience aims to playfully challenge current conversations in business and academia around the role of AI and humans’ relationship with the living, organic world. 

The Kinship Wayfinder  
Created by Harmeet Chagger-Khan (Surfing light Beams), Adam Clewes-Boyne (Beta-Jesta), Sharon Clarke (Raucous) and Helen Brown 

In this modern digital age, we have never been so close, yet so disconnected. Where is the social revolution? What will bring people together when they are so apart? These are the questions at the heart of Kinship Wayfinder. Kinship Wayfinder is an exploration into how AI can help to foster meaningful connections; to create trust, kindness and friendships between disconnected people.  This multi-user playable experience gathers people together and takes them through a series of scenarios, with AI inhabiting different roles to guide players through the scenarios and create positive emotions amongst strangers.  

About MyWorld programme

MyWorld is funded by the UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) Strength in Places Fund. MyWorld is built on the production, technology and research strengths of the West of England region to create a globally unique proposition for creative technology, research and innovation. Bringing together 13 diverse partners across academia and industry, from the University of Bristol and the University of Bath, to the BBC, Bristol Old Vic and Aardman Animations. MyWorld’s strength lies in the collaboration between these incredible organisations, working together to not only create the cutting-edge creative technology but to create a more prosperous, equitable and sustainable West of England.

MyWorld is using investment into creative technology to stimulate growth and societal change in the industry and in the region. It’s the place where science, engineering and art meet and we want to make them all accessible for everyone. The MyWorld programme provides opportunities for businesses of all sizes to:

  • Discover: Access pre-market trends in technology via an extensive research programme in our partner universities.
  • Build: Accelerate product and process prototype development through access to innovation funding and production facilities.
  • Learn: Access MyWorld skills development training or create a talent pool ahead of the market through academic and industry short courses. 

All of this in one, world leading, collaborative, interconnected region in the West of England. 

Interested in Sandbox? Find out about the previous sandbox box: Playable City Sandbox