I recall hearing a number of years ago, a quote from Bob Dylan. It must have been in the 1990s and Bob said the following:
"Technology to wipe out truth is now available. Not everybody can afford it but it's available. When the cost comes down, look out!"
To help put it in context; he was referring to technologies like those to manipulate photographs. Traditionally, if we wanted to prove something in a court of law, producing a photograph would prove an event happened beyond any shadow of a doubt. “I’ve got the pictures to prove it.” With programs like Photoshop, we see daily examples of photographs of things like Abe Lincoln walking arm in arm with Marilyn Monroe, and you can’t always tell that they have been faked short of the fact that the two personalities lived 100 years apart. We also have audio recordings of the Late Nat King Cole singing a duet with his daughter, and what appears to be file news footage of Forrest Gump (Tom Hanks) with President Lyndon Johnson. So I ask you, where does that leave the state of proof when it comes to these media?
In Japan today, there are pop stars that are referred to as “idols.” They are usually young, attractive and female. These pop stars appear in the public eye for brief careers measured in months. During that time they make public appearances, do guest appearances on TV shows, record hits songs, etc. I would like to introduce you to what is probably Japan’s most popular current idol, Aimi Eguchi (left). This teen is a member of the all-female pop group, AKB48. (Membership in that group is rather fluid.) She is the perfect idol in that she has perfect pitch, has perfect skin, never misses a dance step and is as cute as anyone has ever been. Besides appearing with AKB48, she has appeared solo and is currently featured in a candy commercial.
So, what does this have to do with Bob Dylan’s, “technology to wipe out truth?” It has now come to light that Aimi is not real. There isn’t even an actress we can point to who plays her. If you are old enough, you might recall a TV personality named Max Headroom (below right). He was a completely computer generated character. Well, he was voiced by an actor, but the visual image of Max was computer generated. No one would believe for a minute that Max was real by looking at him, but it was a neat novelty at the time. It has now come to light that Aimi Eguchi is completely computer generated, like Max Headroom. Unlike Max, Aimi fooled the public.
I have included a short video of her at the bottom of this post. You can see for yourself how real she appears. We have now taken the “technology to wipe out the truth” one step further. We now have the technology to create any truth we like. Like Dylan said, “When the cost comes down, look out!”