Face time

Fast forward to that hypothetical time in the not-too-distant future when everyone is “wearing”. So rather than seeing the world through our naked eyes, we will all be able to see, through our future contact lenses or implants, some computer-mediated transformation of that world.

The extent to which this visually transformed world differs from the literal world will ultimately not be a technological question, but rather a question that centers on individual and collective values, as we have discussed here in earlier posts.

When such transformations become possible, you will be able to “dial in” a preferred age to show the world. For example, someone in their forties can choose to appear as their twenty-something self in a party situation, and then revert back to a truer appearance to take a business meeting, if that is desired.

You should also be able to project forward, running plausible simulations of what you might look like in ten or twenty years, and then choose, at times, to show that face to the world.

It will also work the other way: When you talk to a person in their seventies, you might opt, for whatever reason, to see them as they looked when they were twenty or thirty.

It’s not clear to me what this capability implies from a social, cultural or ethical perspective. But it might be worth thinking about.

2 Responses to “Face time”

  1. Phil H says:

    Let’s look at where this is currently possible: the world of cosmetics, cosmetic surgery, etc. It is largely indulged in by 3 groups: young people trying to fit in and be attractive, women of all ages trying to conform to society’s ideals and middle-aged men in midlife crises.

    So I would expect something similar to happen; the dating pool would consist of people trying to look attractive, while simultaneously trying to debunk other people’s attempts to do the same (“it looks totally fake”) – perhaps there will be places where wearing is essentially verboten because people want to asses real fitness.

    Women will continue to be pressured into some vague age around 30 in any business or social context; this technology merely makes it easier to pretend, rather than pushing for the social change necessary to accept the value of women beyond their fertility.

    Insecure middle aged men will continue to do whatever it takes to buy or otherwise portray status and attractiveness to young women, whether or not the attempt is ludicrous.

    Finally, I suspect the first generation who grow up with it to do something sensible with it, and portray completely unrealistic caricatures from about age 10 to old age. The generation after might well be naturists.

  2. Jaron K says:

    Cool idea!

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