The most polarizing sci-fi movie on HBO Max shows the limits of a major technological trend

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dated: 2022-11-19 17:47:14 .

Earlier this fallmovie don’t worry dear made headlines amid controversy over a backstage misunderstanding between cast members.

But as it turns out, the sci-fi plot may prove more controversial than the off-screen drama in the long run. Spoilers ahead for don’t worry dear.

don’t worry dear It appears to be a simple story about a 1950s suburban paradise with housewife Alice and her husband Jack working for a mysterious defense program called The Victory Project.

But Alice suspects that Frank, the enigmatic leader of Project Victory, is hiding something serious. Two-thirds of the way through the film, it becomes clear that Alice’s suspicions are correct. Her entire suburban existence in the business town of Victory, California, is an elaborate lie concocted by an elaborate virtual reality scheme that has erased her memories of her real world.

In real life, Alice is a doctor who works long and hard, much to the chagrin of her husband Jack. Meanwhile, Jack is actually Alice’s unemployed husband, who has been indoctrinated with the misogynistic ideology of male entitlement after hearing speeches from Frank – a fictionalized version of controversial psychologist Jordan Peterson.

Jack, along with the other Victory Project husbands, drugged his wife and placed her in a hyper-realistic virtual reality simulation. She claims it’s for her own good, because she thinks she’s been miserable doing so much – an assumption Alice vehemently denies when she learns the truth.

Many reviews have focused on the feminist themes of the film’s shocking plot, but here’s what we want to know: don’t worry dearpremise actually convincing? Could we all soon be trapped in a hyper-realistic version of the virtual reality metaverse?

Elizabeth Kensinger, a psychology professor at Boston College who studies memory retrieval, recounts Vice versa that “it is conceivable that there could be a technology that would allow the brain to create entire worlds.”

scientific role is Vice versa Series that reveal the real (and fake) science behind your favorite movies and shows.

Is a metaverse possible?

The main roles are played by Alice (Florence Pugh) and Jack (Harry Styles). don’t worry deara history of virtual reality gone horribly wrong. Warner Bros. Images

Tech leaders like Mark Zuckerberg have suggested that the future of social media will be led by the Metaverse – virtual reality simulations where you can interact with others in computer-generated programs.

But could someone create a computer simulation of sensory experiences so realistic that it tricks our brains into believing the fake world is real? Maybe, say some experts.

“…our perception of the world is only a creation of our brain.”

Kensinger says so don’t worry dearThe premise deals with a very human problem: the difference between imaginary memories and lived experiences. If you’ve ever thought of locking your door only to come home to find it unlocked, then you probably understand this concept.

“Following reality is difficult because there are many similarities between the brain perceives the real world and how the brain imagine mentally created worlds,” says Kensinger.

She adds, “Although it’s scary to think about it that way, our perception of the world is just a creation of our brain.”

We usually use clues to tell ourselves what’s acceptable and what’s not—for example, you know you were just dreaming this morning and weren’t really on vacation at a tropical beach because you’re sitting in your cabin eating lunch. But if you take away these compelling clues, Kensinger says it’s possible to confuse the real world — the one in which we operate — with the virtual world.

“It is conceivable that future technology could allow someone to enter a dream-like state to move through an alternate reality that they would experience as if it were real,” concludes Kensinger.

Futurist Andrew Curry says that permanent life in the Metaverse would be challenging due to the body’s metabolic needs, although in the don’t worry dear, it is implied that Jack takes care of Alice’s biological needs such as feeding. Curry says it takes a very stimulating experience for people to connect with the virtual reality of a movie, because even in virtual reality we would retain some awareness of our true selves.

Trailer for don’t worry dear.

“They would have to suppress their physical experience of the world, or make their virtual reality experience so believable — a digital version of psilocybin, perhaps — that they just go along with it,” Curry says.

But Gualtiero Piccinini, associate director of the Center for Neurodynamics at the University of Missouri-St. Louis, said Vice versa hey is skeptical for several reasons. For example, while the characters in don’t worry dear To feel pain, eat and smell just like in the real world, says Piccinini: “Neither taste nor smell can be simulated by ordinary computer simulations.”

“I don’t see how we can achieve a hyper-reality that is indistinguishable from the real world,” adds Piccinini.

Could you erase someone’s memories and lock them into the metaverse?

in don’t worry dearFrank (Chris Pine) has created a sophisticated computer program that allows husbands to trap their wives in virtual reality. Warner Bros. Images

The film’s plot only works because Jack traps Alice in a simulated reality, and a computer program effectively erases her real-life memories while she’s in the simulation.

“Amnesia is a real thing and there are newer experimental methods that have been able to implant and erase simple memories in rats,” says Piccinini.

But other experts do not consider the scheme of this film so realistic

“I think we’re a long way from erasing people’s memories,” Kensinger says.

Additionally, Kensinger says the mind can bring long-forgotten details from the back of your mind—like childhood acquaintances—back to the forefront. Likewise, it’s not unlikely that an alternate reality could become so salient that your brain temporarily mistakes it for the real one.

“I think it’s common for us to focus on what’s ahead and not think about other things that we know to be true,” explains Kensinger.

Peter Curry – who is also Andrew’s son – recently completed an MSc in Neuroscience at Birbeck College, University of London. He says Vice versa that “people can have incidents in which they lose the entire structure of narrative memory, so the idea that memories cannot be replaced is not entirely true,” although the extent to which memories can be erased is debatable.

Ultimately, Peter Curry says that “humans could probably fall into the Metaverse.” Really what Frank did don’t worry dear is to create an illusion that tricks the thinking mechanisms of the brain – the process of making assumptions about the world using evidence and arguments. But he says it would be hard to maintain that illusion forever, as the film shows when Alice begins to suspect something is wrong with the town of Victory.

“In short, we currently lack enough technology to fool the brain’s high-level reasoning mechanisms over long periods of time,” says Peter Curry.

What is the difference between our “fake” life and our real life?

Can we completely blur the lines between our virtual and real selves? It’s complicated, experts say. Shutterstock

don’t worry dear blurs the line between fiction and reality. At the end of the film, Alice remembers her real life again and immediately discards her fictional life as a housewife. But her friend Bunny has a different approach.

Unlike the other wives, Bunny has always known that her existence in the suburbs of Victory isn’t technically real, but she’s kidding—because the virtual reality with her fictional children is better than the real world with their dead ones.

As Bunny tells Alice, “They are real to me, Alice, because this is where my children live.”

“Our identity, the way we interact with others, and the choices we make every day are affected by what we remember about our past, whether those memories are true or not,” says Kensinger.

As the metaverse becomes less hypothetical and more real, it’s possible to worry about the blurring of our fictional VR personas and our real-world memories. How can we distinguish what is fake and what is real?

Piccinini argues that if you can really thrive in simulated reality, despite the current limitations of virtual reality, “then it’s the only thing you’ve got.”

That’s a scary thought don’t worry dear effectively drills the casing.

don’t worry dear now streaming on HBO Max.

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Source: www.inverse.com

The most polarizing sci-fi movie on HBO Max shows the limits of a major technological trend

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