‘Web3 kills digital fundamental rights’

Metaguide # 21: Crying filter, Paris Hilton brings the Bored Ape character to life and mixes true and false in Metas Codec Avatars 2.0

in our book Really fake we describe how synthetic media – media generated by AI – will lead to the democratization of creativity and thus to a combinatorial explosion of creativity.

This point was emphasized once again this week. For example, I cringed at Crying Filter, which is now being used like crazy on Snapchat and TikTok. Unsuspecting people are filmed while their faces are transformed into a crying face using artificial intelligence, with funny movies as the end result.

This week we also saw how Paris Hilton and Snoop Dogg used the Immi app to breathe life into their Bored Ape character. The app allows users to plot their face on a cartoon in real time. The app ensures that the facial expressions of the human face are transferred one by one to the cartoon. This also gives amazing results. “For brands where storytelling and customer engagement are central, the opportunities are enormous.”

Link to video on Twitter.

Software developer Lorenzo Drago completely knocked me back. Using Unreal Engine 5, he was able to recreate the Etchū-Daimon Station train station in Toyama, Japan. The generated replica is indistinguishable from the real one. It gets absolutely horrible when he turns off the light in the station and walks through it with a flashlight. Large game studios are now using this Unreal Engine. It bodes well for the future.

This week, pop stars Kanye West and Kendrick Lamar released their latest music video. Deepfake technology is used in both films. Kanye’s Life Of The Party clip brings images from his childhood to life. Kendrick Lamar’s The Heart Part 5 clip is more advanced. He assumes the identities of several individuals such as OJ Simpson, Will Smith, Jussie Smollett, Kobe Bryant, Kanye West and Nipsey Hussle. Playing with identities adds an extra dimension to his work.

Finally, Meta gave an impressive demo of their technical prowess this week. With their project Codec Avatars 2.0, their prototype of VR avatars, they show how realistic their avatars have become. Real and fake run right through each other here.

This democratization of creativity is therefore available to everyone, both amateurs and professionals, the tools to make that kind of film are up for grabs. Often for nothing. The interface of these tools speaks for itself. A child can do the laundry. It means a Cambrian explosion of creativity.

The media that further colored the meta-verse this week are the following:

1. NFT sales flatten out

NFT sales leveled – Sales of nonfungible tokens (NFTs) fell to a daily average of around 19,000 this week, down 92% from a high of around 225,000 in September. […] The number of active wallets in the NFT market fell 88% last week to around 14,000 from a maximum of 119,000 in November. […] Many NFT owners find that their investments are worth significantly less than when they bought them. ” Is this the beginning of the end that crypto-journalist Paul Vigna wonders about in his article for The Wall Street Journal? Or is this simply the “disappointment phase” that technology has to go through according to Gartner’s hype cycle? That is the opinion of Adam Mosseri, head of Instagram. He is already looking forward to the future.

Link to video on Twitter.

Web3 kills digital fundamental rights

Web3 will kill digital fundamental rights – “Technical platforms will remain dominant in web3, predicts Axel Arnbak, lawyer and researcher at the Department of Information Law. The promises of privacy and decentralization have not yet been fulfilled in this next version of the Internet.” Arnbak has a reasonable point. To market Web3, all kinds of intermediaries such as Alchemy, OpenSea, Etherscan and Coindesk are used, which on the one hand are very comfortable with our data, and on the other hand they form a single fault point which is all kinds of hackers wet dream. Not to mention the big venture capitalists, such as A16Z, who pump huge amounts of capital into the valuation of these brokers.

Securing the future of our civilization

Can civilization survive with an unmodified internet? – Journalist Kelli van der Waals wonders in her column whether we will secure the future of our civilization with the freedom of an unmodified internet. In her search for an answer to this question, she ends up with the philosopher Isaiah Berlin’s classic dichotomy on freedom. Negative freedom is the absence of coercion from other people: everything is allowed as long as it does not harm another. positive freedom refers to the freedom to do certain things in the sense of “autonomy”: one sets the law for oneself. Practice shows that advocates and opponents of free speech treat each other’s freedom very easily. Van der Waals therefore believes that an unmodified internet is not the solution. Sometimes it is necessary to limit negative freedom.

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