“I need a nonbinary two-headed MC with violet skin and four golden legs…”: the way we see the future…of content

People can (co)create anything with the help of their imagination and neural networks. Welcome to 2046.

We wrote “2046” to share our vision of future content creation. It’s a perfect ordinary day for a human being who creates content daily, for work and personal needs. Creating your alarm song with visuals, uploading it to the web, making money off it, reshaping famous paintings, making your movie on a phone without actually shooting anything — it’s all real in the nearest future with Reface. The line between work, art, self-expression, and daily routine has been blurred. Welcome to 2046.

The year of 2046
Mall City

The Making of an Alarm_

10.30 AM. The alarm is gently whispering: “Wake up, sleepyhead. Waaake uuup.” Oh no, that preprogrammed dream was incredible. Too bad it had so many ads. I gotta buy a premium subscription to dream without pauses.

I open my eyes and see a hologram of my ex. Xywe13 is smiling at me. “Wake up, honey, time to get up” — the whole room is filled with Xywe’s honeyed  voice and bittersweet perfume. I think it’s time to reinstall that hologram, time to move on. I take my phone and turn the alarm off. My ex disappears.

– Do you wish to change the alarm?
– Yeah, I think I'm ready.
– Oh, at last! Those memories will vanish like vapor…
– Just shut up! — Blixa (the name of my phone) shuts up, but I swear I can feel it mockingly chuckling to itself.
– Now I want something more aggressive and lively to wake me up.

Some angry rap with blasting beats, you know.

Create Yourself a Rapper_

I need a nonbinary two-headed MC with violet skin and four golden legs. One head will spit bars and the other one will drop bridges. And their stomach can be the speaker. Perfect, I'm a morning genius!

Blixa shows me drafts of rappers we can create according to my demands. I reface and reface till I find the perfect faces for my rapper. Then I get to body swapping. It's like a Digital Lego Frankenstein. I construct some being on my phone. Clothes, a bunch of  gold chains, sneakers. 10 minutes later, my exquisite corpse rapper is ready to spit fire.

– I’m gonna call you Lil Ego, that’s right! — I say. Blixa smiles. We’ve created another brick in the digital content wall.

The neural network in Blixa’s head goes brrr, and we have lyrics based on the words and visions I’ve just shared with my phone. The beat I’ve constructed in a few minutes is a beast. I wonder if Bach or Mozart ever dreamed about something like that.

Now I’m just swapping different objects to make the perfect background. Okay, the sky can be a giant panda’s ass, lovely. The backing vocals are a bunch of  platinum trees with purple lips... Awesome. And the ocean, a quiet turquoise ocean, is in the background. Save.

My alarm is too hilarious to hide from people. I upload Lil Ego with the track “Wake Up'' to the web. I switch my phone from Old School (handheld) mode to HI (head implant) mode because I need to take a safety shower.

On the News and In Your Head_

I close my eyes and see my news feed. I turn on a personalized mode. Water washes the weird aftertaste of my dream away while I admire myself in the ad of a global cruise full of adventures, ocean, and desert islands with palm trees and white sand.

I swear I’ve watched this ad a million times, but still, I can’t stop watching it over and over again. And it’s not about the money I get for watching it. I feel like this ad is for me; it’s all about me.

The great thing about personalized content is that it can take you to other worlds you’ve never been to, but still, everything remains familiar and cozy. You can smell that perfumed soap and taste real milk from a real cow in the ad. You can feel the touches and kisses in a movie you’ve swapped yourself into. I have no idea how they do it, but this personalized existence has changed my whole existence.

I can’t imagine how people could live without personalized content in the past. I mean, it’s so dull and awkward always watching strangers buying hotdogs or selling insurance. Or watching movies with actors’ and actresses’ faces in them, can you imagine that? It’s pretty cool from time to time as an experiment. Sometimes I watch those 20th-century classics like “Plan 9 from Outer Space'' or Alfred Hitchock’s flicks, but I can’t binge-watch tv shows with strangers in them. I need to see myself and my friends in them. Sometimes I even change the backgrounds and interiors in my favorite shows to make them look fresh, you know.

Happy Hieronymus_

A notification tickles the back of my head — it’s Ruby’s birthday today. I almost forgot! I get out of the shower and switch the phone back to old school mode.  

– Hey Blixa, let’s make a special emoji for Ruby. I want this emoji to have my face. It’s got to be like a fireball, you know, a big red and yellow fireball with my face. It will be private for a while, just for Ruby’s use, but Ruby can make it public anytime.
– Should we use your current face?
– Nah, let’s make a new face video. I wanna say something.

“Ruby, my friend. It’s your birthday today, and I wish you to be anyone you want in real life. Take this present as a reminder that you are here to enjoy life!”

Blixa swaps my happy face onto a shiny fireball...

– Oh, you're something else, thank you! — Ruby is so excited with my emoji and the present — The Garden of Earthly Delights by Bosch, swapped by me. I put Ruby, myself, and our friends into the digital version of the triptych, and animated it. I've been working on it for a few days to make everything perfect. Ruby is happy; I can see it in their  eyes even though it's just a hologram drinking champagne with me. The real Ruby is on the other side of Mall City, talking to my hologram…

Future Plans_

Meanwhile, Lil Ego is making money for me. The song went viral. Ten million views, two million shares, and one million reswapps in like 2 hours! That's a lot of money. I bet they'll use my alarm in the ads with some famous content creator in it.

Cool, now I can just lay back, relax and concentrate on my project. It's the movie I've been working on for the past three months. The film is about Mall City. It's like a night trip around the city’s endless housing complexes, malls, and streets. I’m also working on my own music score for it. It's totally organic. I play the real instruments like they used to do in the past. They say organic music brings a lot of money because it's a rare craft, and exotica.  

I switch to HI mode and Blixa is in my head again. I close my eyes and look at the project file. The Stranger and a mysterious apartment scene. This person is wearing black and their face is hidden. It's a shadow of Mall City, a mystery, a bringer of change.

I choose suitable indoor scenes among thousands of assets. I swap the textures of the walls, the color shades of the doors, the height and body movements of the Stranger. The music is suspenseful. The Stranger tiptoes towards a red door at the end of the passage. Now the person is trying to ring the doorbell, but it won't work. The Stranger looks around. Silence. The Stranger knocks on the door three times…

RAT-A-TAT! — Three real knocks on my door. I pause the project and open my eyes...