Sunday, July 13, 2008

The Future of the Avatar

Regardless of how creepy this may appear to people viewing the world from our current vantage point, and what we consider normal by today's standards, avatars are destined to become routine, everyday fixtures in our future way of life.

But here's the most important part. Avatars will only live in the computer world for a short time longer. It is only a matter of time before they emerge from the computer and appear as visual beings, walking around among us.


intense said...

"It is only a matter of time before they emerge from the computer and appear as visual beings, walking around among us. --Thomas Frey

Uh-huh. Yeah, riiight! Oh, sure.

Visual beings? Now, just what the heck is that supposed to mean?

Now, why do I think this not only a bad idea, but also a kind of ridiculous one? Could it be due to Frey's piece not mentioning once just how this might actually be realized? Or, whether it might be rather dangerous, even if it could be done, which is most unlikely, as the article kind of misconceives what role avatars actually play? Or artificial intelligence? Or robotics? I think Thomas is treading water in a self-made, somewhat shallow sea. Superficially glib, but without deep content.

Perhaps it's because Frey doesn't really know what he's talking about, as his concepts are without real logic, or beneficial, rational foundation. Gosh, I guess I don't know, but I would submit there are so many truck-sized holes in Frey's arguements and presumptive statements in the short, shallow "think piece" this post links to as to be not even worth the time to explicate further.

Read it, and see for yourself. Or not. YMMV, but if this supposed to be an example of thoughtful futurist prediction or speculation, this guy ought to consider another line of work. Really.


Anonymous said...

I have to agree with Intense that the piece is rather shallow in content for the reasons he mentioned.

I could tell you about the future my generation was promised and instead we got front loader washing machines and telephones without wires. OK, the computer is kind'uve neat, but the rest has been a bit more mundane than we were led to believe.


Justin said...

Well, it sounds like he's read Accelerando and Rainbow's End. I can see why they pay him the big bucks!

Mac said...

I'm sympathetic to the idea of avatars functioning as helpers in the real world. I don't see them as omniscient AIs anytime soon, but I can see the idea taking off alongside augmented reality schemes and different forms of automation. A virtual me, for example, could "hold down the fort" online while I'm away.

It's a schizophrenic notion -- and perhaps only that -- but I don't think it's crazy or unfounded.

m1k3y said...

@Justin - then someone should also make him watch Dennou Coil and Real Drive

Justin said...

Hm, I don't know if he'll watch those, but I'll give em a whirl. It's been a while since I've seen any anime, and it's hard to go wrong with Production IG and Masamune Shirow.