Digital Avatars

from the falling-into-the-screen dept

Realistic looking digital avatars are now only about a year away from being integrated into computer games and the Internet. These similar looking digital versions of a person could make chat rooms and games a little more fun. The really exciting applications, however, will probably have to wait until we can link these avatars to more intelligent AI’s (I long for the day that we can start using cyber assistants).

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Comments on “Digital Avatars”

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Ryan says:

Anonymous aggressiveness

Will this bring down the aggressiveness that many tend to adopt online due to their anonymity, since who you’re flaming or screaming at online could find out not only where you live now (with all the spy software out there), but what you look like? Or will people adopt different avatars for different scenarios, ie. I’ll put my face on when I’m calling/emailing my friend George or my mom, then I’ll head over to IRC and put on my slightly altered George Clooney head to see if there’s any available women, then borrow my friend George’s head to go and flame some people on another website, etc, etc. This could be an even more dangerous anonymity than what we have now – not only can you pretend to be someone else in mind, you can pretend physically too. To the extreme, cybercriminals and pedophiles (I’m not trying to isolate some, just use them as an example) could adopt more friendly, genial facades; it’s a fact that people feel safer with someone whom they perceive looks friendly than what they perceive as a criminal in their minds, at least physically (offline). Why shouldn’t it happen mentally (online)?

Ryan says:

Re: I'll inform the Ryans...

Thanks for posting the link to Mike’s article mhh5.

I have to admit I didn’t at first think too deeply into the criminal potential of alternative avatars. It really is quite scary if someone starts using your face to at first start a normal conversation but then begin flaming people and committing cyber crimes. It would be just that little bit harder to convince people that it wasn’t you.

It’s cool writing back to you Ryan, it feels like I already have a digital clone (as I’m sure it feels the same for you), as the name Ryan is the only way that people can identify me from others and as both of us have the same name that identifier is removed (basically a harmless example of what you just described).

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