There is some fascinating work being done by some brilliantly inventive engineers at Stanford University, who are showing us how technology can manipulate facial expressions in real time.
This is impressive stuff, but a little concerning, too. In terms of cinema, it opens up a whole possibility of “new performances” by long-gone actors that could be wildly entertaining. On the other hand, the “real-time” capabilities here could certainly tempt some into misuse. Imagining the possibilities for nefarious exploitation of this science could make for pretty troubling books and films. We’d cast Robert Downey, Jr or Will Smith as the hero who discovers that history is being rewritten as media consumption becomes more visual and video-based, and paper books give way to malleable digital material. 1984, for the 21st century.
That’s a movie we’d go see, even if it did make us wonder about the trustworthiness of our information.
Here is another video:
What do you think? Does this technology — impressive as it is — make you feel excited or simply anxious?