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Tyra's cloudy fashion crystal ball

Model and talk show host Tyra Banks had something to say on the future of fashion.

It at first reads as a bunch of cooky madness that betrays the depths of her ignorance across a range of fields and the developments in those fields particularly as it regards genetic engineering and biotechnology but she gets some things oddly at least in the same ball park as the reality that is unfolding if not any where near home plate ;). Here's a serious analysis of some of her list of predictions:

1> Just wrong, plastic surgery for some of the most common procedures today that are associated with fat and muscle deposition will actually go obsolete. Breast enhancement, Butt enhancement are among these...nose jobs will always be nose jobs for those that get them...there is nothing on the horizon to speed up or otherwise automate the procedure.

2> Kind of right! Hair growth will be something that will finally be genetically triggered or sped up or stopped (once those pathways are figured out) but it would probably be painful to have your hair grow so fast that it changes significantly in thickness or length in a day. Keratin requires amino acids if you aren't providing the constitutive elements the rate of growth is limited at least by that material constraint even if the genes are tweaked to pump out fibers faster.

3> This is the one being made fun of because it barely is legible. I am not sure what she's talking about...something about people being heavier because the bulk will be poor and poor people don't have good nutrition? Insane.

4>Very right if we are talking about phenotype changes like skin and eye color and hair color and texture , very wrong if we are talking nose width or chin roundness at least not in the near future....those formative features are ones that are dependent on temporal cycles and hormone release, even in twins they don't happen exactly the same way though it is possible that figuring out the combination of genetic and developmental pathways to modulate these features dynamically may be possible. As for the simple phenotype changes I call this "cosmecuticals" and it is going to be a very big near term industry (20 years) now that CrispR like in vivo genetic modification is a reality.   Good guess Tyra!

5> Are all cars the same color? Are all bags? Shoes? No. So why in a time where people who obviously enjoy expressing their individuality can do so with their very bodies easily would they choose to normalize themselves into the crowd homogeneously? Yes, skin color changes will be possible but also they'll be can be black as a Sudanese for 10 years and then spend 20 years white as red haired Irish girl if you want, there would be no reason to stay stuck on any skin tone or any other phenotype change you chose. This is patently just wrong.

6> Actually makes sense. As "change" becomes the new normal all intermediate slots will be considered "normal". 100% spot on.

7> What would be so different about robot/avatar models that can't also be modeled by people who are transhuman? Does Tyra even know that some people are amputating parts of their bodies just to be more robot like TODAY?? Wait until that tech is more available...people will willingly shed their flesh for some more robot. Miss. The only shift will be to embrace all the new variety both of changes we can induce genetically AND changes we can build in transhumanistically. (just made that word up, sue me).

8> She must really like her Siri. ;) That said she's right! AI is rapidly advancing beyond the dumb pattern matching of today to the dynamic inferential intelligence we think about from sci fi....leaving aside if it is a good idea to enable our devices to become self aware it's going to happen...we might as well be careful about how we do it. That said, she's right.

9> Not quite sure what this is about...nanobots I guess is her thought. Anyway not likely, it will be far more difficult to do such a thing than to just get's not even know if such precision real time modification is possible using nanobots (Based on what I know about how cells grow and divide and human physiology I'm going with a hard no).

10>Again kind of right! The gender scale will definitely be normalized as females ability to have children is decoupled even from the need to get pregnant (combine the dna outside and put it in a host egg shell and then have a surrogate carry it or even better, carry it to term in an artificial womb). I don't know where she's pulling that 70% of cosmetics being male figure out from ...I see no reason why in a normalized society it will still be more or less what it is today...assuming aspects of temperament and preferences that are correlated to gender based hormone variation (testosterone versus estrogen) are not nullified from the equation.


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