"Meet Eguchi Aimi. She's the newest member of Japan's teen girl group, AKB48. Like the rest of her 47 band mates, she's the embodiment of the a tween pop idol. She's got a sugary voice, perfect hair, shiny skin, and an unrelenting desire to plug consumer products, namely Glico's Ice No Mi candy. She appeared in the June 13 issue of Shukan Playboy magazine, where she was described as the 'Ultimate Love Bomb.' Aimi's star was rising fast.
What makes her special is that she doesn't exist. Glico now admits that Aimi is actually a computer generated image created by mashing up the features of AKB48's other members.
The band and the candy company struggled to pass Aimi off as an actual organism, but some of the band's obsessive fans had raised suspicions when they noticed the uncanny resemblance to other members. Others noticed a somewhat eerie quality to her movements."
(Vincent Trivett, 24 June 2011, Business Insider)
"With a technology called MotionScan, an actor's complete performance––their facial expressions, how they talk, when they blink––are captured for use in a video game. We spoke to Brendan McNamara, the head of the team behind the detective game using this tech, 'L.A. Noire.' ...
Made by Team Bondi and Rockstar––the AAA developer behind the violent and cinematic Grand Theft Auto series––L.A. Noire is set in post–WWII Los Angeles, giving the player the role of Cole Phelps (Mad Men's Aaron Staton), a war–hero turned police detective."
(Kevin Ohannessian, Fast Company, 4 February 2011)
"xtranormal's mission is to bring movie–making to the people. Everyone watches movies and we believe everyone can make movies. Movie–making, short and long, online and on–screen, private and public, will be the most important communications process of the 21st century.
Our revolutionary approach to movie–making builds on an almost universally held skill–typing. You type something; we turn it into a movie. On the web and on the desktop."
[The Xtranormal Text–to–Movie authoring tool allows you to produce short films. It does so through adding your typed dialogue (in the form of 'text to speech') to supplied animated character assets.]
"Founded in 2000, LeCielEstBleu specializes in the creation of highly interactive, original interfaces and applications. Their work has received numerous international awards and has been exhibited throughout the world. They are best known for PuppetTool, an experimental animation tool; SetSearch, a visual search engine; and La Pâté à Son [Sound Dough], a generative musical composition tool and sound toy recently exhibited at Ars Electronica. LeCielEstBleu's principal artists are Frédéric Durieu (code), Kristine Malden (media), e Jean–Jacques Birgè (music)."
"Behold! human beings living in a underground cave, which has a mouth open towards the light and reaching all along the cave; here they have been from their childhood, and have their legs and necks chained so that they cannot move, and can only see before them, being prevented by the chains from turning round their heads. Above and behind them a fire is blazing at a distance, and between the fire and the prisoners there is a raised way; and you will see, if you look, a low wall built along the way, like the screen which marionette players have in front of them, over which they show the puppets.
And now look again, and see what will naturally follow if the prisoners are released and disabused of their error. At first, when any of them is liberated and compelled suddenly to stand up and turn his neck round and walk and look towards the light, he will suffer sharp pains; the glare will distress him, and he will be unable to see the realities of which in his former state he had seen the shadows; and then conceive some one saying to him, that what he saw before was an illusion, but that now, when he is approaching nearer to being and his eye is turned towards more real existence, he has a clearer vision, –what will be his reply? And you may further imagine that his instructor is pointing to the objects as they pass and requiring him to name them, –will he not be perplexed? Will he not fancy that the shadows which he formerly saw are truer than the objects which are now shown to him?"
Plato's Republic, book vii, 514a–c to 521a–e
[Plato's allegory about consciousness underpins Western philosophy. It also introduces a fundamental concept used by Christian theology to describe spiritual enlightenment.]