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Friday, February 09, 2018

Your own Chris Hemsworth pet

In the Black Mirror 4th season episode USS Callister, it was surprising to me that they used DNA alone to create simulations of people when you could just do what they did in the early Black Mirror episode "Wish You Were Here", and scan social media to build a simulation of a personality and body.

What's especially interesting to me about that scenario is how it doesn't really need to perfectly mimic the person. As long as it seems like a person and it matches them closely enough, I suspect our empathetic brains would fill in the rest and we would perceive the full human. Of course we will need to develop AI to the point of general (human equivalent) intelligence before we could really fall in love and reason with such a simulation, but if all you want to do is use them as a prop and exploit them, we are probably very near that technological point already.

Which means, if you think about it, you could have your own Chris Hemsworth or Jessica Alba VR pet very soon. Some of these might be deliberate commercial products, but others will be totally unauthorized products of social media stalking. Have an old flame for an ex? You're not far off from being able to create a simulation of them convincing enough to have virtual sex with or even abuse. Checking out someone on the subway with your hacked HoloLens glasses? Now you can own them forever. (Especially easy since you don't even have a real sense of their personality to compare against.)

I think this sort of thing may enable a flourishing of inhumanity and socially dysfunctional rabbit holes.

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