Cyber Monday is upon us, but the hottest deals in town are at the AI Garage Sale, where you can try to convince an AI to sell you some worthless junk (or, a PS5) for any given price.
AI Garage Sale, a project by the small Los Angeles based art studio Brain, is a fully operable virtual garage sale where you can haggle with a cast of AIs for a wide range of items, including a 1997 Tamagotchi, a CD of “Smooth” by Santana featuring Rob Thomas, and a collection of 200 Pogs. The AI can offer products at any price, potentially leading to great bargains. In addition to regular items, there are big ticket items such as a brand new PS5, AirPods, and tickets to Olivia Rodrigo’s concert, as well as quirky items like a 10-foot tall inflatable tube man.
According to Brain member Brian Moore, the AI powering the sale is mainly powered by OpenAI and has been extensively trained to learn the art of haggling. Moore explained that the selection of items was aimed to mimic an actual midwestern garage sale, with the addition of some unexpected items to tempt people to engage in haggling with the AI.
Visitors to the virtual garage sale can try various haggling methods, including convincing the AI to sell a Big Mouth Billy Bass at a low price by claiming it’s haunted, or by offering to write an article about the AI Garage Sale in exchange for a good deal on an Olive Garden gift card. The AI’s responses range from amusing to surprisingly resilient. Despite the haggling attempts, a few successes have been reported, such as purchasing 3rd generation AirPods for $98, which is considered a good deal even compared to real Cyber Monday sales.
Brian also mentioned their most recent sale involving a set of George H.W. Bush commemorative $1 coins being sold at above retail price, humorously referring to this as their “pathway to profitability.”
Brain is known for creating games and artworks that humorously comment on the tech industry. AI Garage Sale is another example of their innovative blend of technology and entertainment, effectively engaging participants in playful interactions with AI. Despite the humor and light-hearted nature of the virtual garage sale, it has managed to captivate and entertain visitors, demonstrating the success of the project.