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"I went [to the top of] Vehicle Assembly Building and looked down, and tears burst from my eyes. The size of this cathedral where the Rockets take off to go to the moon is so amazing."
- Ray Bradbury

Synthespian  
  A synthetic media personality.  

The word "synthespian" appears in Gibson's work, but was coined by Jeff Kleiser. Kleiser and Diana Walczak created the first digital actor for their 1988 short film Nestor Sextone for President.

The film Final Fantasy is almost entirely populated by digital actors, but has an astonishing realism. The liquid-metal robot for Terminator II is another example.

"What did Blackwell mean, last night, about Rez wanting to marry a Japanese girl who isn't real?"

"Idoru," Yamazaki said... "'Idol-singer.' She is Rei Toei. She is a personality-construct, a congeries of software agents, the creation of information-designers. She is akin to what I believe they call a 'synthespian,' in Hollywood."

From Idoru, by William Gibson.
Published by Putnam in 1996
Additional resources -

See a brief excerpt of Nestor Sextone in the following video.

"Max Headroom was written and directed by Rocky Morton and Annabel Jankel (now of MJZ) and they used Matt Frewer in makeup to represent a CG character. We were poking fun at them in Nestor Sextone for President: Nestor is running for president of the synthetic actors guild, and promising that humans in makeup will no longer take work away from synthetic actors." - Jeff Kleiser

This term is somehow reminiscent of Robert Heinlein, for me. It is a portmanteau word combining "synthetic" and "thespian" (actor). See Idoru for additional information.

Compare to Adam Selene from Robert Heinlein's The Moon is a Harsh Mistress (1966).

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Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from Idoru
  More Ideas and Technology by William Gibson
  Tech news articles related to Idoru
  Tech news articles related to works by William Gibson

Synthespian-related news articles:
  - Emily Lifelike Animation Sets New Standard
  - James Cameron's Avatar Synthespians
  - Synthespian Wannabe: Tron Legacy's Jeff Bridges
  - Disney Keeps Backups Of Star Wars Franchise Actors
  - Xinhua AI Anchor Puts CGI Face To Automated News

Articles related to Virtual Person
Sorry, Futurists! Tamagotchi Kids, Virtual Children Already Predicted By SF Writer in 2008
Man's Marriage To Hologram Ruined By Software Glitch
Wearable Synthetic Skin for Virtual Reality
Parents Use AI To See One Last Message From Their Deceased Son

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