CBS Sunday Morning – Digital Doubles

From CBS Sunday Morning:


But here’s the thing: It’s fine to create virtual clones of people as long as everybody knows it’s for entertainment purposes. But how long will it be before someone tries to pass it off as reality?

Pogue said, “Let’s say I decide to make a presidential candidate do something heinous and I release that as news. Is that plausible?”

“I think it’s not only plausible, I think that there are definitely people in various countries that are working on exactly that,” said Todd Richmond, the director of the mixed reality lab at USC’s Institute for Creative Technologies — and a man who thinks a lot about the implications of digital clones.

Should the government be involved? Should there be a new Bureau of Digital Ethics?  “I think artists should have a place at the table,” Richmond said. “Technologists and practitioners need to be at the table because they’re the ones who are knee-deep in the goo of this stuff. Politicians have to have some understanding of this, because invariably, policy will need to be made to address this.”

According to Richmond, it’s past time for us to consider the very real power of make-believe people.

“I can create a virtual version of somebody who can walk and talk and say things that they never actually did,” he said. “And that’s a power that’s never existed ever in the history of humans.”