Synthetic Self-Perception


Photo by Amine M'Siouri from Pexels

Amine M'Siouri


Perceptual illusions have the power to change our abilities and behaviours. Prior research in virtual reality (VR) has shown that transporting ourselves into a new digital physical or social environment, or having an experience of piloting a virtual avatar, even if unrealistic, can be a transformative experience.  

However, what happens when we see a hyper-realistic and modified version of ourselves? One that is younger or older, or plays another role? One that behaves in a different way? With advancements in generative AI, we are now able to synthesize new digital versions of ourselves that can look and sound remarkably like us. 

Synthesized selves can be a provoking medium for questioning what could be.  Instead of looking at our own simple reflections, synthesized reflections can beg us to question and explore "Who am I?" Such a probe can even shape our self-beliefs and encourage us to pursue our greatest potentials.