Photoshopped images are not reality. Sure, we know that, but we accept Photoshop images as a reflection of reality. Now, by Photoshop I also mean special effects; the kind you see on television and in movies. Everything looks real but nothing is.
Computer generated graphics have become so realistic looking that distinguishing reality from fakery on the big screen isn’t so easy any more. Last week I watched Rod Taylor in the original The Time Machine movie from 1960. For the era, special effects were decent, but nothing compared to today’s standard fare.
As excellent as today’s special effects are, they’re about to get better. Much better. Better to the point of simulating reality in many ways. A few years ago Adobe demonstrated what was called Photoshop for voice. Sebastian Anthony explains:
[Technology] that lets you edit recorded speech so that you can alter what that person said or create an entirely new sentence from their voice. It seems inevitable that it will eventually be referred to as “photoshop but for audio.”
In other words, special effects for voices has reached the point where anyone’s voice can be captured and then repeated– but using whatever words you type, rather than what the voice actually spoke.
Initially the text box shows the spoken content of the audio clip. You can then move the words around, delete fragments, or type in entirely new words. When you type in a new word, there’s a small pause while the word is constructed—then you can press play and listen to the new clip.
4K HDR televisions are becoming the norm. That’s what you get with Apple’s new Apple TV. 4K HDR. Frankly, the detailed quality in 4K video is strikingly realistic. Jesse says it is so realistic it doesn’t look real. I understand the sentiment.
An iPhone records video in 4K with HDR. Already we see 8K cameras and 8K displays– four times the resolution of 4K televisions. Yes, they are years away. But that only means higher resolution will be here in years that get here faster than we think possible. How long before a feature length movie comes along that is as realistic as film but is completely computer generated? And, by computer generated, I mean not just the video, but the dialog, too.
Our 4K HDR TV already makes humans onscreen to be very visually flawed characters and it’s those flaws which indicate humanity. That means future computer generated characters will need to be flawed in similar ways.
If Adobe and others can produce lifelike, human-like visuals with human voices, how long before we have walking talking human-like robots doing our chores for us?
Beyond that, I wonder what humans will do to earn their keep.