Science New Wave ID: ATGAGAAAGGACGTGCGC
Logline: In the abandoned smart city of SimBeijing, a self-driving police car confronts their existential troubles with their built-in AI therapist.
Synopsis: Theta follows a self-driving police car as they confront their existential crisis while patrolling the streets of the abandoned smart city of SimBeijing. Left with nothing to do, but still under constant surveillance, the car discusses their troubles with their built-in therapist — a self-help AI called Guanyin. Not all is as it seems in the smart city. Originally built as a replica of the Chinese capital to test autonomous vehicles, SimBeijing has mysteriously become a ghost town. As Theta gradually opens up to Guanyin, they reveal the darker reasons behind why the city has been abandoned. Theta continues Lawrence Lek’s ongoing Sinofuturist universe, in which he explores questions of identity, surveillance, and empathy in the age of AI.