Cover art for podcast Flash Forward

Flash Forward

103 EpisodesProduced by Rose EvelethWebsite

Flash Forward is a show about possible (and not so possible) future scenarios. What would the warranty on a sex robot look like? How would diplomacy work if we couldn’t lie? Could there ever be a fecal transplant black market? (Complicated, it wouldn’t, and yes, respectively, in case you’re curious.… read more

42:28

Unreel

This month on Flash Forward, we go to a future where anybody can make a video of you doing anything they want. And that technology is cheap and easy to access. What happens?

 

 This episode we start by talking about the technology as it exists now. Hamed Pirsiavash the show to explain his research into generating videos using algorithms. 

 

 So that’s where the technology stands now. But once it gets better, there are all kinds of applications. Hal Hodson, a tech reporter at The Economist, tells us about how it could be used in movies. Right now, movie-makers use CGI to project faces onto other faces. Recently, in the latest Star Wars, the faces of Princess Leia and Grand Moff Tarkin from the original trilogy were projected onto actors faces for the few scenes in the new movie. Here’s a look at how they did it.

 

 But in the future, they might not have to do any of this. They could simply generate the video they need using images of Leia and Tarkin’s faces. Which also means that movie stars could wind up being in hundreds of movies a year, since they don’t have to actually be there, on set, to act. And they could keep acting in movies long after they’ve died, too. 

 

 That’s a fun thing to think about. Here’s a less fun thing to think about: how people would use this technology to seek revenge and ruin people’s lives. And to talk through the legal implications, I called Carrie Goldberg, a lawyer who specializes in revenge porn cases. She explains how these generated videos of the future would actually get around today’s revenge porn laws. 

 

 Then, to wrap it all up, I talk to Jenna Wortham, a writer for the New York Times Magazine and the co-host of an amazing podcast called Still Processing. In a world where online identities are not only personally valuable, but economically valuable, what does this do to us? When anybody can torpedo your finely crafted online persona with a fake video, do we all just give up? Do we try to erase everything from the internet about ourselves? Or do we lean into this and start making wild aspirational and experimental videos? Or maybe all of the above?

 

 Bonus: You will also find out what butter, The Falkland Islands, and Snakes on a Train have in common. According to Rose.

 

 Some further reading for this episode:

 

 The Attorney Fighting Revenge Porn

 Social Media Got You Down? Be More Like Beyonce

 The future of fake news is real time video manipulation

 The Butter Wars: When Margarine Was Pink

 The British Punk Band That Fooled Reagan, Thatcher and the CIA 

 Introduction to Generative Adversarial Networks 

 Teaching Machines to Predict the Future

 

 Flash Forward is produced by me, Rose Eveleth, and is part of the Boing Boing podcast family. The intro music is by Asura and the outtro music is by Hussalonia. Special thanks this week to Wendy Hari, Jacki Sojico and Dan Tannenbaum. The episode art is by Matt Lubchansky. 

 

 If you want to suggest a future we should take on, send us a note on Twitter, Facebook or by email at info@flashforwardpod.com. We love hearing your ideas! And if you think you’ve spotted one of the little references I’ve hidden in the episode, email us there too. If you’re right, I’ll send you something cool. 

 

 And if you want to support the show, there are a few ways you can do that too! We have a Patreon page, where you can donate to the show. But if that’s not in the cards for you, you can head to iTunes and leave us a nice review or just tell your friends about us. Those things really do help.

 

 That’s all for this future, come back next time, and we’ll travel to a new one!

Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Listen to Flash Forward

RadioPublic

A free podcast app for iPhone and Android

  • User-created playlists and collections
  • Download episodes while on WiFi to listen without using mobile data
  • Stream podcast episodes without waiting for a download
  • Queue episodes to create a personal continuous playlist
RadioPublic on iOS and Android
Or by RSS
RSS feed
https://feeds.megaphone.fm/PPY8359579005

Connect with listeners

Podcasters use the RadioPublic listener relationship platform to build lasting connections with fans

Yes, let's begin connecting
Browser window

Find new listeners

  • A dedicated website for your podcast
  • Web embed players designed to convert visitors to listeners in the RadioPublic apps for iPhone and Android
Clicking mouse cursor

Understand your audience

  • Capture listener activity with affinity scores
  • Measure your promotional campaigns and integrate with Google and Facebook analytics
Graph of increasing value

Engage your fanbase

  • Deliver timely Calls To Action, including email acquistion for your mailing list
  • Share exactly the right moment in an episode via text, email, and social media
Icon of cellphone with money

Make money

  • Tip and transfer funds directly to podcastsers
  • Earn money for qualified plays in the RadioPublic apps with Paid Listens