In pop culture, there are many questions that are often asked: is this new hyperreality simply adding features to the real world, or is it simply making the real world something more? This is why new technologies are transforming science fiction into science fact, which is forcing us to question the limitations of our reality.
Hyperreality is a concept that describes a reality that is undistinguishable from the real world until the distinction fades away. In the 1990s, live-streaming news footage of the first Gulf War and other real-world events sucked into peoples homes. On the other hand, there were physical events happening in the Middle East, and on the other hand, the hyperreal televised version was operating in living areas across the globe.
Every time we use an Instagram filter, see faces on Snapchat, or witness a Hollywood blockbuster with high-quality CGI (computer-generated imagery) and VFX (visual effects), hyperreal content blurs the lines between reality and its virtual representation to the point that the distinction becomes less significant than the experience itself. However, hyperreal content is a powerful storytelling medium that can be used in various ways.
Hyperreal content has been extremely difficult and complicated to produce, with teams of VFX specialists engaging in intense tasks while simultaneously reducing the amount of time they have to devote to the content. However, recent advances in artificial intelligence have made it easier than ever before to create hyperreal content that is both inexpensive and photorealistic. It is only a matter of time before regular people may (de)aging.
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Toward a hyperreal metaverse
The metaverse will develop to create immersive experiences in hyperreal virtual environments that look and sound exactly like us. Currently, nearly all of the avatars and virtual environments in the metaverse are painstakingly created as digital renderings. However, virtual goods, from luxury goods to avatars, look amazing, creative, and playful. But they are not photo-realistic or exact digital twins of items we actually own in the real world. AI generative models will use data from the world around us to render hyperreal immersive experiences, objects and
Hyperreality may be the missing part of the puzzle for attracting billions of regular people into the metaverse. Everyone wants highly personalized and engaging content on-demand, and generative AI allows hyperreal content to reach internet scale. This is important if we ever hope for the metaverse to have as many users as the internet. However, human content creators will never be able to create enough hyperreal avatars and content experiences on their own. AI will be crucial to making the metaverse a genuine and recognizable extension of reality.
Why might the metaverse be hyperreal? There are two key human problems:
First, immersive content with photo-realistic avatars and virtual spaces will provide more authentic and emotionally satisfying experiences for people. This will widen the spectrum from gaming and entertainment to virtual doctors appointments, classrooms, and workspaces. Instead, family reunions will always be special. With immersive hyperreal content, we can get much closer to the same degree of experience.
Second, we have spent our whole lives designing our identities in real life, and therefore creating multiple new online identities is exhausting. While the metaverse is a great place to become a new version of yourself, it''s simpler to start with who you are already, and build from there. Hyperreal technologies reduce the barriers of entry for regular people who desire to have daily human experiences.
The hyperreal metaverse is filled with possibilities, but it presents significant ethical challenges that cannot be ignored. First and foremost, we must strive for a metaverse that empowers the individual. Unlike big tech platforms that have left many feeling that they have little control of their personal data, participants in the metaverse must own and control their biometric data that is used as inputs to establish hyperreal versions of themselves. In this regard, blockchain technologies and NFTs in particular are critical to ensuring that each individual individual can have a real difference
The hyperreal metaverse will enliven a future in which real and virtual reality collide. It is only a matter of time until our new digital worlds are indistinguishable from our physical reality. Its a remarkable vision of possibilities for more inclusive and diverse virtual spaces that are empowered through a strong mix of ethical design, user control, and creative uses of technology. The seeds of this future are being planted right now: how it will come to fruition.
Tom Graham is the CEO and cofounder of Metaphysic.