I don’t know if it’s just me, but I feel this whole explosion of virtual identities (Avatars) is taking over the world. Not only do we have for our entertainment, state of the art games, with outstanding interactive graphics, but we also have a second world where we can take on a new virtual identity in different periods of time and live happily ever after. Now in the real world, we have Avatar customer service. I can’t say that the idea doesn’t sound a little spooky, but this is now our reality. According to the article on CNN by John D. Sutter, the New York’s airports will launch Avatar as “virtual customer service”. According to the article, this is going to be piloted and if successful, then even better features can be implemented so the Avatar can interact with people.
How many of you find this concept unreal? I do; just a few years ago when “Minority Report” came out the virtual world was the product of our overworked imagination and thing of the not so near future. I was thinking then, that the movie was very entertaining, but very invasive to one’s privacy, as one’s every movement was monitored. Here we are, being replaced by our virtual selves in year 2012. I wonder how long it will take to replace people in any kind of face to face customer service with avatars who are not going to have to take lunch breaks, vacation, get sick, or be paid overtime. Now, I know some technical issues can arise, but given the fact that machines are easier to replace than people, this will forever change the world as we know it. And we thought outsourcing was bad!
Finally, I can’t help but wonder where do we fit? How does the big picture fit into our lives? I’ve concluded it is in human nature to evolve and to adjust to these new conditions. The world of technology is fascinating and exciting, and we just have to find our place in it. I know it sounds intimidating to think about our future on new unexplored ground, but keeping an open mind can help us see new opportunities, and new horizons which could be as fulfilling as the future we imagined to have.
- Avatars to Assist at Area Airports (wnyc.org)