‘Web3 is destroying fundamental digital rights’

Metaguide #21: Crying Filter, Paris Hilton Brings Bored Ape Character To Life Mixing Real And Fake In Meta Codec Avatars 2.0

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

This point was emphasized once again this week. For example, I cringed at the crying filter now being used like crazy on Snapchat and TikTok. Unsuspecting people are filmed, while their faces are transformed into crying faces through the use of AI, with hilarious movies as the end result.

This week we also saw how Paris Hilton and Snoop Dogg used the Immi app to bring their Bored Ape character to life. The app allows users to trace their face onto that of a cartoon in real time. The application ensures that the mimicry of the human face is transferred one by one to that of the cartoon. This also produces amazing results. “For brands where storytelling and customer engagement are critical, the opportunities are immense.”

link to video On twitter.

Software developer Lorenzo Drago blew me away. 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 becomes completely terrifying when he turns off the light in the station and walks through it with a flashlight. Major game studios now use this Unreal Engine. That 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 movies. Kanye’s Life Of The Party clip brings childhood photos of him to life. Kendrick Lamar’s The Heart Part 5 clip is more advanced. Take on the identities of various people, including OJ Simpson, Will Smith, Jussie Smollett, Kobe Bryant, Kanye West, and Nipsey Hussle. Playing with identities gives an extra dimension to his work.

Finally, Meta gave an impressive display of her technical prowess this week. With their Codec Avatars 2.0 project, their prototype VR avatars, they show how realistic her avatars have become. The real and the fake intersect here.

This democratization of creativity is therefore within everyone’s reach, both for amateurs and professionals, the tools to make this type of film are within reach. Often for nothing. The interface of these tools speaks for itself. A child can wash clothes. It means a Cambrian explosion of creativity.

The media that colored the metaverse even more this week are the following:

1. NFT sales flatten

NFT sales flatten – Sales of non-fungible tokens (NFTs) fell to a daily average of around 19,000 this week, down 92% from a peak 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 high 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 as crypto journalist Paul Vigna asks in his article for The Wall Street Journal? Or is it just “the disappointment phase” that the technology has to go through according to Gartner’s hype cycle? Adam Mosseri, head of Instagram, thinks so. He is already anticipating the future.

link to video On twitter.

2. Web3 kills fundamental digital rights

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

3. Securing the future of our civilization

Can civilization survive with an unmoderated internet? -The journalist Kelli van der Waals wonders in her column if we will ensure the future of our civilization with the freedom of an Internet without moderation. In her search for an answer to this question, she ends up in philosopher Isaiah Berlin’s classic dichotomy of freedom. negative freedom it is the absence of coercion on the part of other people: everything is allowed as long as it does not harm another. positive freedom it refers to the freedom to do certain things in the sense of “autonomy”: one establishes the law for oneself. Practice shows that defenders and opponents of freedom of expression treat the freedom of others very easily. Therefore, Van der Waals believes that an Internet without moderation is not the solution. Sometimes it is necessary to limit negative freedom.

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