Thursday, May 5, 2016

Predictions for the Future

1- Visual Extraction Technology: I predict that, within the next ten years, software will be developed (if it hasn't already) that will allow someone to, say, take video footage from a Brady Bunch episode, scan the images of each character and produce a lifelike 3D sprite fully fleshed and ready to animate.  Along these lines, synthetic speech will also improve, allowing one to take an audio sample of someone's voice and reproducing it with different tones and emotion (which would probably need a good range of audio samples to work from).  With such technology, visual fakery will be more common, plus parodies will run rampant.  Continuing with the Brady Bunch example, folks will utilize this technology to make convincing videos of, say, members of the Brady family engaged in mortal combat or doing unspeakable things to Alice.  Something else cool about this, old or physically impaired actors will be able to reappear, at any age, in any form.  In several years from now, when Patrick Stewart is in a wheelchair and eating through a tube as his 100 year old body, he will still be able to return to fulfill his roll as captain of the Enterprise in the Next Generation remakes, but this time he can appear as his child-self or teenage-self.

2- Movie Madness: along the lines of #1, movie-making technology and green-screen will become so user-friendly that anyone will be able to produce their own movies with quality CG.  I have large hopes for this one in particular as people will gradually become disinterested in big budget movies as they realize they are being fed nothing but straight sugar with no nutritious plot or character development, meaning that we could see a rise in the number of up and coming writers and directors as well as new actors and actresses dying to break out into their own full-length films.  Naturally this means there will be possibly millions of crappy movies going directly to the internet, but out of these the likes and shares will narrow them down to enough favorites that the established film industry as we know it will be in danger of losing profit to newbies with real vision.  But there is a potential savior for the film industry as it falls to amateurs...  Remember when special effects workers feared a loss of career when CG came out?  Virtual Reality, holographics and 3D filming will start the age of Star Trek's "holo-novels" in which movie theaters become antiquated and special effects simulators where people interact in VR or with holographics.  This will most likely occur within the next 20 years since I can see stuck-in-their-way movie industry titans resisting it until a collapse in their industry looms dangerously near and their accountants squeal about how they can't hold off any longer.

3- News Panic: with news becoming more accessible and fewer people knowing how to read (or having the luxury of time to read), news anchors will become more sought after as they will be relied upon to report the news on an hourly basis.  But with so many news anchors and personalities floating around, providing the news, the news industry will either not have the money to pay them or they will somehow feel they are not being paid what they deserve.  From this we could see news reporters walking off the set and protesting their salaries.  Because of this, the Japanese "actroid" will become a more attractive option.  But not the clunky, mannequin-esque robots, oh no.  Referring to prediction number 1, we could see the masses of news reporters replaced by CG reporters who look and sound real, only requiring a few popular news anchors to be scanned and generated without studios or cameras, and fed 'round the clock news as it streams in from armies of interns and in-house writers.

More to come

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