Since the coronavirus has made getting together for our usual talk impossible, this month (April – we’re sorry we’re a little late!) we have decided to discuss our subject in a responsibly socially-distant manner. So, we are very proud to present the very first in a series of Manchester Futurists podcasts.
Our guest this month was Chris Sizemore who has taken an interest in the notion of synthesized realities for a long time. The definition of synthesized realities is difficult to pin down but broadly speaking, a synthesized reality is constructed through a variety of synthesized means. So, a synthesized reality might include a visual component such as VR or AR, it might be purely auditory and geolocated to provide certain information at a certain point.
Synthesized realities are already well established within our culture, whether we are aware of it or not. Literature, film and TV are often the best places to find examples but the most famous is probably The Matrix where the whole world has been fabricated. In these examples, the synthesized reality is often there to question what reality is or how people behave in different circumstances. Take a look at this compilation:
These synthesized realities are quite easy to spot and the characters are usually aware – at least in the end. But as the technology is becoming increasingly sophisticated there are real risks associated with synthesized realities. We should already be cautious about the information we trust on the internet but what happens when you just can’t tell whether a video is real or manipulated?
In our podcast, we discussed all these ideas and more. As always, feel free to tweet us with your comments or raise some questions of your own @mcrfuturists