Wired peers enter the real future

First matrix The film introduced a generation of science fiction fans to the views of ancient philosophers: What if your entire reality is a scam? Twenty years later, the plot of this movie-the traitor of freedom trying to expose the lies behind the oppressive system- Timely as always, But its conceptual premise feels almost weird. The technologies that have emerged since then did raise the question of what is real, but now they do it in stranger ways than predicted by the movies, even if rarely so sinister.

Your daily reality is an increasingly complex experience: computerized sounds exist in your Smart speaker, Further study Bringing dead movie actors back to life, the price of art generated by artificial intelligence at auction is jaw-dropping. The simulants also extend to the food sector: there are already countless vegan alternatives to meat and other animal products on supermarket shelves, and soon after, “real” meat grown in the laboratory, Will join them. You can live in virtual reality and use virtual characters to enhance your physical reality (Pokémon Go), street signs (Google Live View) or furniture (Ikea Studio). All your social media profiles may be real, but does it reflect the “real you”? The same problem applies to personal data that you don’t even see—those stitched together from data held by credit card companies, shopping websites, or search engines. Everyone is a virtual version of you and affects your material life. If there is an error in the data, it will make you a person you are not. And now, everyone is suddenly talking about building this called “Meta universe. “

In short, things are already weird, and they will soon become even weirder.So we decided to use Matrix resurrection As a springboard for a special issue of Wired to explore the future of reality-the question is not “What happens if we all live in simulation and don’t know?” But “what happens when we live in simulation and reality at the same time, we I know, but it’s hard for us to distinguish them?” In this case, it doesn’t matter whether we take the red pill or the blue pill: either way, we’ll be in trouble. ——Editors

More special series on influence from WIRED matrix Franchising-and the future of reality

This article was published in the December 2021/2022 January issue. Subscribe now.

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