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Source: Idoru, Page: 44

"But do they really have singers who don?t exist?"

"The idol-singers," he said, staring up the hump-backed incline of the bridge. "The idoru. Some of them are enormously popular."

"Do people kill themselves over them?"

"I don't know. They could do, I suppose."

Our Thoughts on this Quote

Idoru, as defined in this quote, did not exist at the time the novel describing them was published. At that time, 'idoru' referred to assembly-line pop singers in Japan. Young girls who are fired out like manufactured products, to be the next 'sensation' at a rate of about two dozen per month, each replacing the last.

From there, it is not such a great step to create a singer who doesn't even exist in the flesh at all. Rather than pushing each starlet out quickly, and replacing her before she gets funny ideas, create a record, create pictures of a girl, perhaps CGI, and away you go.

In acting, that already existed. Called a synthespian, an artificially created, non-human actor. The first synthespians were such as Max Headroom from the 1980s. Max was supposedly an AI, but was human controlled with a CGI front-end, and featured in a music video programme, a feature film of the same name, a dramatic television series and TV commercials.

The word synthespian comes from synthetic, meaning not of natural origin, and thespian, meaning dramatic actor.

Synthespian creation work is now leading to the creation of the first real Idorus. No longer limited to the CGI characters of films such as Shrek, Simone, Final Fantasy: Spirits within, and others. Robotic pop stars are starting to emerge, which have their own in-built, if still rudimentary AI, stars such as the South Korean EveR2-Muse and the Japanese Kyoko Date (DK96).

As such become more sophisticated, and are built with robotic bodies that can adhere to fantasies well beyond human norms, it is all too conceivable that eventually true Idorus will exist.

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About the Book 'Idoru'
By William Gibson
Produced By Penguin Group

Idoru is a strange novel in many ways. It is a William Gibson cyberpunk novel, set in the dark days of the near future, written by one of the masters of the genre. The book itself is dedicated to a concept that is not quite with us yet, but may well be here in the near future ? cyberpunk apes reality.

Teenager Chia McKenzie loves Rez, one half of a duo band called Lo/Rez. Unfazed that Rez is the same generation as her mother, she lives in the digital world of her sandbenders. Age, gender, history, none of this really matters in the cyber world. Only ability matters.
Click here for full review of Idoru

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