Who Owns the Rights to Your Face?

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Id love to ask how many people get confused between really good CG pictures and actual photos which have been heavily modified. I suppose it's more to do with the fact that people who have grown up seeing CG develop from wobbly clay to laser engineering are probably more alert to when something shown to them is fake.

But tbh, i think the "Uncanny Valley" is making an incorrect statement about what makes a thing "wrong" or "awkward". Something isn't awkward because it's nearly real imo (or a little bit unrealistic). I think it's simply a case of something looking scary because of what it looks like - regardless of its level of realism. A model who's prosthetic skin is hanging off her eyes is going to look unnerving. And the aliens in "Aliens" are scary because of whatever neurological trigger they set off etc.

But no one would call the aliens in that film "realistic" would they? it doesn't even seem to be part of the question of why they do look scary. I have a hunch that this extends to anything which seems unnerving and strange.

Did the author make the picture used as header? If not, can we please get a source?

Why are people so confused about Christopher Reeve? They already had a documentary years ago where they showed how he could walk by consuming foetuses.

if someone makes a fake version of me and makes it do disgusting thing's, I really don't give a shit. I just wouldn't wacth/play it.

OK, someone had to say it. "Photorealistic" or "indistinguishable from real life" for who? Show the average Escapist reader a 'shopped celebrity nude or a video of someone gunning down hookers in GTA IV and they will instantly recognise it as a fake. Show my grandmother (ok, maybe not the n00ds) and it's less certain.

I'm not saying old people were born yesterday, but greater exposure to the increasing capability of CGI means the average tech-literate 20something is always going to be better at spotting a fake than the average technophobic 60something.

The other consideration is the context in which the fakery is seen. With the Turing test, if you set out to prove a chatbot is a chatbot you will soon get them saying nonsensical things, but as someone proved in some MUD or other, in a casual exchange chatbots can and do fool humans into believing they are humans. The same is true in CGI- you know the flying rocket-car in a summer blockbuster is fake *because you expect it to be*. Put a clip of it in a tech segment at the end of the local news and you'd fool any number of people with some decent CG. You could argue photorealistic CGI was realised as soon as a render of a concept car appeared in the media and someone thought it was a real photo. What about the Porsche shooting brake? Hell, even the latest Sims game can look pretty real if you squint at it right.

In these circumstances, the potential of photorealistic-to-a-casual-observer CGI is much more worrying.

It seems to me that the uncanny valley theory could go a long way toward explaining why some people seem to be able to relate a lot more closely to anime and game characters while other people don't seem to be able to. It could be that people who can get into these characters may have a narrower valley than those that can't, and experience a higher degree of familiarity for human-resembling figures.

Whereas one person could see a game character and experience positive feelings (sometimes VERY positive feelings, if you know what I mean), another might see the same character and experience neutral feelings or feelings of disgust. In the former case, the character is standing on the peak of the familiarity curve, right before the first big dip, while for the second person the same character may already have fallen into the proverbial ravine.

And by the way, I totally agree with that guy who said this article's CG girl looks like Boxxy from YouTube.

I might not object to someone using a CGI likeness of me for free-speech or artistic purposes as long as it's not for financial gain. It's morally wrong to use someone's digital likeness in a way that would be like getting an actor to perform for free against their will. Parody, freedom of speech and expression are one thing, but if you're making money from producing the photorealistic digital likeness of someone it seems like a form of theft.
Oh and using photorealistic likenesses to try and trick people into thinking that someone has done something wrong or embarassing should be considered defamation.

SparcMan:
I might not object to someone using a CGI likeness of me for free-speech or artistic purposes as long as it's not for financial gain. It's morally wrong to use someone's digital likeness in a way that would be like getting an actor to perform for free against their will. Parody, freedom of speech and expression are one thing, but if you're making money from producing the photorealistic digital likeness of someone it seems like a form of theft.
Oh and using photorealistic likenesses to try and trick people into thinking that someone has done something wrong or embarassing should be considered defamation.

Odd that the morality is somehow coupled to financial gain here. I would imagine that performing against one's will would be the line, monetary profit aside. Besides, financial gain isn't the only profit that can be made at another's expense.

The question of parody is more interesting. Is it actually parody if it is convincing? If it is confusingly photorealistic, then I don't think it can be considered parody. Wikipedia says: [Parody] in contemporary usage, is a work created to mock, comment on, or poke fun at an original work, its subject, or author, or some other target, by means of humorous, satiric or ironic imitation. So if the work, etc. is confused as the original it cannot be a parody.

I totally agree, CGI has long passed the point of no return. I remember how I felt walking out of Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within severeal years ago. Even as a boy in his early teens I was somewhat concerned about the amount of realism portrayed in this movie. In the years since, CGI has only increased and become further developed.

I believe the day will come when the quality of CGI does cause problems for people, but that doesn't mean we should start demonizing something that has great entertainment applications. I love the CGI movies and effects just like any other gamer would. We just need to set certain boundaries and make sure to clarify them to the idiots in the media.

Kwil:
At any rate, the point is, if you're blase about this kind of technology, you haven't thought about it, it can affect your life in significant and real ways. Piss off the wrong person, and hey, suddenly pics, or one day video, of you molesting kids can get dropped off at the cop shop. Still feel it's no big deal?

And I'm trying to keep things in perspective. You can yell the sky is falling until your voice gets hoarse - but at the end of the day, this can be used as nothing more than a practical joke.

It's an interesting article, but again I don't feel like I should be worrying about my photo appearing on America's Most Wanted for crimes of molestation.

thats the good thing about being so ugly, people would only use this mug of mine to make an villain and then they would have to add a mustache and i would no longer be recognizable.

I'm more worried about the media industry. What happens when someone tries to create a photorealistic villain, only to find that someone with the face doesn't want their likeness as a serial killer and decides to sue. With 6 billion people and more, it could become difficult to create a face no one has seen before. But then, this should be a wake up call anyway to the fact that we already have realism, give us something else...

Gaias:
Doesn't the fact that you are seeing these images in a magazine or on a computer automatically convinces you these images are not real? Or has basic human perception and common sense went out the window with the current crop of humans?

The more important question is "Will it convince a jury?", with "...or the readers of a Sunday magazine supplement." as a caveat.

thedo12:
if someone makes a fake version of me and makes it do disgusting thing's, I really don't give a shit. I just wouldn't wacth/play it.

Fine enough for you, but what if they doctor up a fake version of your daughter (or sister, or cousin, or some other female you care about) and put her in Playboy? Or a porno? What if she has trouble getting a job because people think she's done things she hasn't? She can claim it isn't her all day long but they see what they see.

It's an extreme example, of course, but that's the core of the argument here. As CGI advances, it may be able to, for all intents and purposes, invent "truth" or "proof".

Mezzamine:
Personally, I don't think technology will ever be able to simulate life to the minutest detail, to the level where it can fool anyone who sees it. Especially not in games. AI and bots are never able to completely emulate another player, which is one of the reasons many companies are now focusing on multiplayer-only games, like Team Fortress 2.
The thing that makes human opponents or allies so different is their ability to think and plan. A computer can only have a finite series of responses to a given situation, whereas humans will always be able to find paths or tactics that had never been planned for. What happens if we create a wall of fire using molotov cocktails? What happens if we have a medic standing on top of a heavy while healing him? The ability to ask 'What if...' and then act on this inspiration is what gives humans the edge: Their imagination. And while computers and avatars may become more and more lifelike, they'll never be able to emulate human thought.
At least, I sincerely hope not.

It's true.

Technology has never completely overshadowed people's expectations.

We've never created machines that can travel along the ground with the force of hundreds of horses or more.

We've never lifted off the ground and crossed expanses as large as an ocean in a single trip.

We've never managed to eject ourselves from the very atmosphere and land on our moon.

Lord knows that some diseases or injuries once deemed as fatal are now easily cured.

Technology moves at every increasing speeds. It won't be the people who are passionate about technology that end up using it for douche bag activities, it'll be idiots who don't even understand the mechanics.

Like the Military or Corporation owners.

RebellionXXI:

And by the way, I totally agree with that guy who said this article's CG girl looks like Boxxy from YouTube.

Just looked up Boxxy, I don't see the likeness. THat is 2 minutes of my life I will never get back. She was like a cheap American Jeramy from PP. I also can't stand how she keeps raising her nose making you look up her massive nostrils...

OT, If advances keep going most forms of evidence will no longer be admissable in court. DNA will be the most reliable source. Unfortunately life isn't CSI and as they say in Superbad, villains dont leave seamen everywhere they go. Unless we all get "chipped" like pet dogs. Imagine the harm you could do with a cloned chip...

I agree with Kwil and the others who see a reason to be concerned. The thing is, can we do anything about it? I don't see a way to avoid this.
How will we adapt? Will witness accounts be once again the only reliable evidence in courts? Will everyone just believe or disbelieve news reports simply on the basis of faith?
Can we draw a line to say "this, and no more"?

I'm curious as well as worried. It might not affect the lives of most of us, but it's bad enough if it affects some, and it will affect more people as the years go by.

Am I the only one who isn't affected by the uncanny valley? It sure seems that way...

Interesting article, and cool that you live in Ottawa, me too! + the link to your blog at the end of the article is broken :(.

To the uncanny valley, I'm not so sure I want to cross it, at least in playing games. The fun in gaming is that it's not real, making them perfectly indistinguishable from real life just seems like it would take all the fun out of it. I mean who wants to play in real life? Would it make you a better person if the blood splatter and death rattle was anatomically correct down to the micron? I don't think so. Maybe that's why we're killing more Aliens in our games now. It's getting harder and harder for regular people to stomach the killing of human like forms. In the past at least, I've found that the games that stand out the most and live the longest are those that use art to define themselves instead of photo-realism. Oh well interesting none the less.

+ Killing zombies I think would always be ok. I HATE zombies.

Am I the only one who was a little creeped out by the Girl in the header?

"Uncacnny valley"? I never heard that before today, but it rings true. They certainly have names for everything nowadays. But I think the whole image rights thing in this area is a bit overstated: like everything else, if you're a celebrity and are shown without your consent, your lawyers will crucify the party (or parties) responsible. Normal service resumed, in other words.

I've never experienced the uncanny valley, granted I'm one of the people trying to create "fake life". btw, the "illusion of life" is a great book.

Mezzamine:
The thing that makes human opponents or allies so different is their ability to think and plan. A computer can only have a finite series of responses to a given situation, whereas humans will always be able to find paths or tactics that had never been planned for.

Why, exactly, can a human mind do this, but a computer simulation cannot?
What mystic property does your brain contain which is outside the realm of simulation?
Is it your soul?

In regards to people investing so much time into virtual reality; thats a problem of reality sucking, not the virtual reality.

I mean hell, that woman from the header is more attractive than probably 90% of the women most guys will ever see. Combined with the fact that she either comes with, or can be programed with a personality that is more agreeable than most people will ever meet, and reality is already behind the curve.

Zand88:
Is it just me, or does the girl in the header looks unnervingly like that Boxxy youtube-whore?

Don't use grossly offensive labels.

The_root_of_all_evil:

Dooly95:

I for one, welcome the new virtual reality, where the lines between fantasy and reality is blurred. We might have less real crimes if that came to be.

And a lot more fantasy crimes commited in reality.

Red or blue pill, Mr. Anderson?

If it's a fantasy crime, it isn't committed in reality. You can pretend to blur the lines all you like, but you can't change the definitions of reality and fantasy.

lacktheknack:
Am I the only one who isn't affected by the uncanny valley? It sure seems that way...

I'm not either.

Do you by chance have any form of autism (higher functioning spectrum or otherwise)? A few shrinks have said I do, but the majority have said I don't. Would be interesting to draw a line between the two.

I'm sure there's been studies done.

Paragon Fury:
In regards to people investing so much time into virtual reality; thats a problem of reality sucking, not the virtual reality.

I mean hell, that woman from the header is more attractive than probably 90% of the women most guys will ever see. Combined with the fact that she either comes with, or can be programed with a personality that is more agreeable than most people will ever meet, and reality is already behind the curve.

Reality wins by virtue of nature.

For now at least.

Grey Day for Elcia:

lacktheknack:
Am I the only one who isn't affected by the uncanny valley? It sure seems that way...

I'm not either.

Do you by chance have any form of autism (higher functioning spectrum or otherwise)? A few shrinks have said I do, but the majority have said I don't. Would be interesting to draw a line between the two.

I'm sure there's been studies done.

Nope, I'm pretty clear in terms of brain function. I'm kind of boring, actually. Even my Tourette's is barely noticeable anymore.

I just don't get creeped out by almost-real faces.

Grey Day for Elcia:

Paragon Fury:
In regards to people investing so much time into virtual reality; thats a problem of reality sucking, not the virtual reality.

I mean hell, that woman from the header is more attractive than probably 90% of the women most guys will ever see. Combined with the fact that she either comes with, or can be programed with a personality that is more agreeable than most people will ever meet, and reality is already behind the curve.

Reality wins by virtue of nature.

For now at least.

Eh, maybe.

Just wait until the day when any computer art student can fabricate a perfectly realistic scene of the president giving an address to the nation, saying whatever they want...

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