In similar vein, thank goodness we got moving on building my avatar. I just don’t agree with the established line that the worst thing that those of us with MND lose is our voice. It’s worse than that. We lose our Personality – our ability to light up when a friend walks in, smile to reveal that what we just said was a joke, look concerned when someone’s telling us they’ve had a bad day. Part of my research dream into countering this was to swap my old analogue face for a new digital one: Personality Retention.
Time is of the essence. My face is becoming emaciated and my facial muscles no longer quite do what they’re told. No problem. Last year, I went to Pinewood Studios and the same special effects teams working on the latest Star Wars scanned my head and motion-captured my expressions. I’ve been Future-proofed.
My avatar is being built to far-higher resolution than current off-the-shelf technology can run in real-time. No problem, we’ll build some kit that can cope. And, just like my voice synthesiser, we’ll link it to powerful AI that can restore my body language and external persona.
This isn’t a picture of me. It isn’t even a picture. It’s a still of an early test of my Peter 2.0 avatar. The hair’s wrong. And we’ll rarely use that expression. But key members of my Rebel Alliance (who, coincidentally, also worked on Star Wars!) used pictures of me just before my first MND symptoms to rejuvenate my avatar by three years.
Oh, and just to point out the obvious, my avatar will now never age.