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Issue #34 – Playing With Reality

Sander Duivestein
October 19, 2021

Drums please!!! Last week our new book “Real Fake – Playing with Reality in the Age of AI, Deepfakes and the Metaverse” was published. You can buy your own copy here (Dutch) or here (English).

The Amazing Things You’ll Do In The Metaverse And What It Will Take To Get There

“Since the dawn of civilization, humans have had only one world in which to live: the real one. But tech visionaries say we’ll soon have an alternative: a virtual world where our digital avatars and those of people in our communities and around the globe come together to work, shop, attend classes, pursue hobbies, enjoy social gatherings and more. Immersive videogames and virtual concerts have given us a taste of this world. But visionaries say the metaverse, as this world has been dubbed, will be far more engaging and robust, not only mirroring the real world in all its three-dimensional complexity but also extending it to allow us to be and do what previously could only be imagined. Walk on the moon in your pajamas? Watch a baseball game from the pitcher’s mound? Frolic in a field of unicorns—or be a unicorn yourself? In the metaverse, tech visionaries say, just about anything will be possible.

Teen Girls Are Developing Tics. Doctors Say TikTok Could Be a Factor.

“Teenage girls across the globe have been showing up at doctors’ offices with tics—physical jerking movements and verbal outbursts—since the start of the pandemic. Movement-disorder doctors were stumped at first. Girls with tics are rare, and these teens had an unusually high number of them, which had developed suddenly. After months of studying the patients and consulting with one another, experts at top pediatric hospitals in the U.S., Canada, Australia and the U.K. discovered that most of the girls had something in common: TikTok.”

An Interconnected Network of Fictional TikTok Stars

FourFront is a media startup that’s looking to define a new type of storytelling on the platform, aiming to popularize a network of individual actors performing scripted short-form serialized stories that feel native to TikTok. Fictionalized storytelling in vlog form is clearly not a new development for social media, but FourFront is hoping that it can capitalize on the discoverability opened up by TikTok’s For You Page (FYP) to steadily build new audiences.”

They use TikTok’s algorithm as a testing ground to figure out which pilots really work, and which don’t. So they don’t have to invest too much into them until they see how people love a certain character.It’s reverse Hollywood as Zoe Scaman says.

Artists Create AI That Predicts Who The Police Will Kill Next

“A new artwork has inverted the application of predictive policing. Instead of forecasting crimes committed by civilians, the project predicts which civilians will be killed by police. The future victims are memorialized on a website called Future Wake. None of them, however, are real people.”

Fraudsters Cloned Company Director’s Voice In $35 Million Bank Heist

“Manipulating audio, which is easier to orchestrate than making deep fake videos, is only going to increase in volume and without the education and awareness of this new type of attack vector, along with better authentication methods, more businesses are likely to fall victim to very convincing conversations.”

The Next Fashion Trend Is Clothes That Don’t Exist

“The online metaverse is coming and if we’re going to be spending more time in virtual worlds, there’s one crucial question: What are you going to wear?”

New Power Dynamics Equal New Possibilities

“What’s happening is a paradigm shift. The tables are turning and the vast majority of brands have no idea what’s about to hit them – their competitive category just expanded on a scale almost impossible to wrap your head around – thousands of individuals who are creating successful content, cultivating adoring communities and then building in a commerce layer to capitalise on it all. […] The challenge for brands is to quickly figure out how to operate in a space where the people they’d gotten used to chucking a few thousand dollars at, to hold a can or wear a t-shirt or plug a new moisturiser, are now potentially their competitors…starting their own drinks brands, their own streetwear labels and their own skincare lines.”

It’s Not Misinformation. It’s Amplified Propaganda.

“We have a very old word for persuasive communication with an agenda: propaganda. That term, however, comes with historical baggage. It presumes that governments, authority figures, institutions, and mass media are forcing ideas on regular people from the top down. But more and more, the opposite is happening. Far from being merely a target, the public has become an active participant in creating and selectively amplifying narratives that shape realities. Perhaps the best word for this emergent bottom-up dynamic is one that doesn’t exist quite yet: ampliganda, the shaping of perception through amplification. It can originate from an online nobody or an onscreen celebrity. No single person or organization bears responsibility for its transmission. And it is having a profound effect on democracy and society.”

MUST WATCH: How NFTs Are Building the Internet of the Future

“NFTs are not a scam. NFTs are not a fad. In fact, NFTs are the building blocks of the internet of the future. […] With NFTs, my owning something doesn’t preclude others from enjoying it. In fact, it’s the opposite. The more an NFT is seen, appreciated and understood, the more possibility it has to increase in value.”


Playing with Reality is a weekly newsletter in which SogetiLabs’s Research Institute VINT examines the future where synthetic reality becomes part or our objective reality. We investigate the impact of new technology on people, organisations and our society. If you have any questions or comments, do not hesitate to contact us. You can reach us at

About the author

Trend Watcher – New Media, Trend Analyst VINT | Netherlands
Sander Duivestein (1971) is a highly acclaimed and top-rated trendwatcher, an influential author, an acclaimed keynote speaker, a digital business entrepreneur, and a strategic advisor on disruptive innovations. His main focus is the impact of new technologies on people, businesses and society.


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