A colleague and I were discussing the possibilities for Future Reality. She said “wouldn’t it be nice if while I was talking with my husband, I could re-image him as a gorgeous twenty year old?” I expressed doubts that such a thing would really catch on.
My argument was simple: That might be entertaining for a while, but it would likely interfere with the the ability to communicate with maximum emotional fidelity. And when you are in an intimate relationship, maximizing emotional bandwith and minimizing misunderstandings tends to be a lot more important than mere entertainment.
After all, I pointed out, the technology already exists for us to see each other on Skype calls and Google Hangouts with “digital makeup” that would transform our facial features in arbitrary ways. It would be very easy to offer a commercial product that changes your loved ones into gorgeous models.
And yet nobody offers such a product. I think the reason is that there really is no demand for it. At the end of the day, people who care about each other want to see each other truthfully. Not necessarily in the sense of literal photo-realism, but certainly in the sense of maximum emotional fidelity.
That is going to remain true, no matter where our future technologies might lead us.