Juanita knew better

A large company is currently pushing the use of synthetic avatars for shared on-line worlds, rather than featuring the literal physical appearance of people.

I suppose I could be worried that they think people will buy into this “fake version of me”. But am more than reassured by my confidence that it will never catch on, except for playing games.

When there is anything at all at stake to negotiate in the real world, including relationships (especially relationships), people want to see each other as their true selves, so that they can read every subtle nuance of each others’ facial expression and body language. If you try to fake any of it with artificial intelligence, for the sake of technical convenience, you are just going to annoy people.

In Snow Crash, Juanita knew better. That’s why Neal Stephenson made sure to tell us that it was her facial expression software which led to the financial success of Black Sun.

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