Remember that phrase? Doesn’t get used much any more, but at one point is was a term of in-credulousness, which I’m not sure is even a word.
But you get the idea. There was a time when seeing something meant it had to be real, or at the least, unexplained, you know, like this Amityville Horror photo.
God that creeps me out.
It was shot on film I presume in the 70’s and therefore that kid had to be standing there. Maybe.
But then digital photography happened along and something changed. Suddenly we could manipulate photos to our liking. Digital photos are just pixels – tiny little photocells that record a color, millions bunched together to trick our eyes and brains into seeing a photograph. In truth they are just dots. Manipulate the dots and you augment or even create a new photo.
This has filtered down into the world of beauty and marketing, convincing us and seemingly all publishers that the photo as taken is not good enough and it must be edited further, or “photoshopped” if you will.
Yet even with that, we look at a photo and know that person IS that person, maybe with softer skin.
But those simple modifications are going to look quaint in the near future. The day is here where the nerds have learned to, not just manipulate the little dots, but paint with them. In other words, we can now create images of people that are totally, completely indistinguishable from a real, organic, walking the Earth, person.
The people below do not exist. A computer cooked them up.
Here is the article on the tech at PetaPixel. Check it out.
And if that doesn’t creep you out, watch this video on the tech.
This is where we are. Computers are creating virtual people that we cannot distinguish from carbon based ones. And this is not relegated to faces. The same algorithms can be applied to animals, cars, houses, whatever you like.
And in short order complete 3-D video renderings of people will exist. Which means, and follow along here, a complete TV show, from the cats to the locations to the people could be simply rendered in a computer, and it look real. Not almost real, not oh I see a little giveaway there real, but real.
Which will then upend our definition of real.
The digital world has always been the other place for humans. We have always existed in the real world, yet for the last 20 years have been building a companion, yet still secondary, virtual, digital world.
We have on line personas, avatars, social networks, etc, but it has always been our second home if you will. Yet technology is pushing us closer to flipping the script. Not by us becoming more like the digital world, but by making the digital world more like us.
Equilibrium is only established with a frame of reference, and our frame of reference is going out the window. Which in some respects, is terrifying.
The lines are blurred. You can no longer trust what you see.