Sunday, April 15, 2018

The Realism Dilemma

Soon enough we will find that realistic animation is not only for entertainment and education but can also cause great harm. Today we already have trouble distinguishing fake news from real news. Tomorrow we will not know whether what we see is real, or even if what we can touch is the genuine article. The technologies of realistic animation as well as 3D printing and similar automated manufacturing will allow us to create visual illusions of real things and then eventually create fakes that can't be distinguished from the real thing.

So what is the big deal about all of this? Well this will represent a considerable blow to the average person's ability to understand what is and isn't real. If that weren't bad enough, the societal consequences will be worse. The fact that anybody, and thanks to automatic animation technology coming out, I really do mean anybody, can do this means that we will have to find a way to know what is real and what isn't. The only way to tell what is real and what isn't is to have a surveillance state that records people and their surroundings all of the time.

That's right. The technology that's being used to make fancy special effects and artificial worlds is going to have far reaching consequences that will change our society in very ugly ways. You won't be able to have a surprise party anymore thanks to the constant surveillance on everybody at every time. And it will get even worse when we find a way to fool the human eye better with visual scenes seen in real life that are entirely fake.

Just imagine how many political parties, cults and religions are going to use pseudo-life scenes to convince people of their point of view. After 3D printing gets more sophisticated there will be fake artifacts to go along with it.

If you want to know just how far from reality we've already come, consider IKEA's advertisements which are made with rendered computer models that look completely real. There are already surely many other examples which we aren't aware of doing the exact same thing.

Today's magic tricks will be tomorrow's false realities. Remember that during the next  special effects heavy blockbuster you watch.

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