This is Eguchi Aimi. She's the latest member of Japanese pop band AKB48 and a very lovely girl. But Eguchi Aimi is not what she seems. This Sunday, she shocked all her fans revealing her dark secret. You must watch this.
Look at this video closely. You can see the seven members of AKB48 advertising some Japanese candy. Among them, center stage, is the lovely girl that you can see in the gallery and on top, Eguchi Aimi. She looks just like the others, all big eyes, juicy lips, perfect cheeks, cute chin, blinding smile and angelical look. Look at her sing. So cute.
The great pretender
The fact is that yes, she looks exactly like the others. Literally. The big eyes, the juicy lips, the perfect cheeks, the cute chin, the blinding smile and the angelical look belong to the other six member of AKB48. Eguchi Aimi is not a real person, she has been composed in a computer using parts from her fellow band members. Her fans, who are legion, just learned about it this week, when this shocking video demonstrating the process, was published in YouTube. They just couldn't believe it and you won't believe it either:
Make sure to watch it full screen, because the synthesis and post-production work that have gone into Eguchi is simply uncanny. Taking 150 gigabytes of memory, she's the perfect example of the world we are headed to, in which men and machine, "reality" and "reality" will collide in a new way that would make humans blend into the digital world and the digital world come into flesh and bones.
And while the Eguchi Aimi phenomenon may be just anecdotical, the fact that a synthetic creation has been able to make their fans to have crushes and feelings without them never realizing she was a figment of someone's imagination, a digital mutant mix, is not a simple anecdote. That's very real. When people perceive such a being as real, and that being causes an emotive response in them, then that makes that character part of reality. It has an tangible impact on their worlds. The physical world which, at the end of the day, is just synthesized by our brains from our senses (which are just arbitrary signal input devices).
What's real is real
The fact is that all this is not science fiction anymore. It's science. And just a matter of time before there's a huge jump that puts together synthetic lifeforms out of the screen and into the physical world. "A new world of machines and possibilities!" as Dalí said in his futurist manifesto.
As we walk into this new world, I can't help but to ask myself: Would I be able to fall in love with a synthetic being? Would you? And what will happen then, when humans and digitals collide and merge in our world and their world?
I know. This is not new. It's been the subject of movies and books for most of the 20th century. Heck, you can even find the same themes in classic greek mythology. But literature and film is one thing. Watching it happening right in front of you is quite different.
All I can think about is that I hope that I live long enough to watch it all happen. Even if it all ends in a clusterfuck of destruction, it is going to be a lot of fun. [Singularity Hub]