Futureself: Reflections on A Personal Future Simulation System 2009

FutureSelf, MA thesis, experimental concept

Master Thesis (Pro gradu) 2009, Media Lab, University of Art & Design Helsinki
Download Abstract – FutureSelf: Reflections on a Personal Future Simulation System (pdf)
Download FutureSelf: Reflections on a Personal Future Simulation System (Full Thesis pdf, 8,5 MB)

FutureSelf is an evocative game-like system that constructs an interactive textual narrative describing the future of an individual. The evolving narrative can be treated as a future forecast but also as an alternate path of one’s existence.

FutureSelf creates future simulations using the digitized information about the individual and her surroundings (e.g. social data). The system utilizes automatically the available information that is stored and processed in digital networked environments.

FutureSelf, MA thesis, experimental concept
Future Feed

FutureSelf can be seen as an entertaining future laboratory; it gives the user an insight into how one is able to affect the future in different ways. In essence, FutureSelf can be seen an instrument for self-reflection that allows one to analyze and observe the effects of one’s actions, values and intentions.

The individual’s own preferences, selections and choices (both online and off-line) affect directly and significantly the future forecasts generated by the system. Thus the system can produce factual, well-estimated extrapolations of personal future development as well as imaginary future fantasies depending on the user’s own choices and preferences.

FutureSelf, MA thesis, experimental concept
Forum page

FutureSelf can be seen as a time-capsule that lets an individual peek into her future in an immersive manner and approach the future through a virtual instance of her personality. She can experience her own future – naturally in a restricted sense – before it actually occurs.

FutureSelf is primarily a web service deploying versatile web-technologies. The system functions in networked online environments via various devices.

FutureSelf isn’t a virtual 3D environment such as Linden Lab’s Second Life or WoW, for example. As most of the output consists of text and pictures, the user interface design resembles more of user interface of Facebook, Friendster or Last.fm on the computer screen, a news feed or as a mini-application on the screen of a portable multimedia device (i.e. smart phones such iPhone, Nokia N97). However FutureSelf environment can contain rich media elements such as 3D elements, animation and other media formats.

FutureSelf, MA thesis, experimental concept
This is how it works

FutureSelf isn’t a generative system for creating vague, universal and imaginary horoscopes concerning one’s future. The FutureSelf system’s future simulations are based on the factual yet malleable data about the user.

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