Sunday, February 14, 2010

Is the *Avatar* concept really possible?

Is the 'Avatar' concept really possible?
By Elizabeth Landau, CNN

(CNN) -- Now the highest-grossing film ever, "Avatar," has captivated millions of viewers with its picturesque scenery, extraterrestrial battles, and nature-loving, blue-skinned aliens.

The premise of the film is that humans can enter the world of these 10-foot aliens, called the Na'vi, by way of half-human, half-Na'vi hybrids. A high-tech interfacing mechanism allows a human to remain inert while controlling one of these avatar hybrids just by thinking.

Not only does the human manipulate the avatar's movements and speech, but he or she also experiences life -- every sensation, feeling and emotion -- through the eyes of the hybrid, as if consciousness were transferred.

Scientists say we are many decades, even centuries, away from making this kind of sophisticated interaction possible, if it can be done at all. But the fundamentals of components required to create this complicated system of mind-controlled avatars are already in the works, and have useful applications in medicine.

"We're starting to understand the basic building blocks, but the biggest challenges will be emotion and thought -- how to make another organism think what you think, to feel what you feel -- because those networks are much more difficult to sort out," said Dr. Brian Litt, associate professor of neurology and bioengineering at the University of Pennsylvania.

Moving remote objects by thinking
Uploading information
Understanding brain networks
Transferal of sensations and emotions

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Maybe we are decades aways from doing exactly what is done in the movie. But in a way this already happens in lot of ppl lives. When they get into a virtual world like for example Second Life; they manipulate their avatar and sometimes they can feel some emotions based on the game experiences. On top of that; when i saw in the movie that he wanted ... Ver másto have the life with Navi's more than his real life; I thought about those ppl that are so addicted to the Virtual Worlds that they cant get away with a normal life just being inside Second Life living the life they maybe cant in their RL. I was one of them at some point in the last 2 yrs. And there is still ppl that wake up and go inside Second life until they have to go to sleep and the next day is the same thing over and over again.

So in a way; the Human being is getting ready for the Avatar Experience.