WHAT IS ISKRA?
Throughout history, shamans attempted to resurrect people from their past and present. In Russian, “Iskra” means “spark”. It was also the name of a Soviet propaganda newspaper. The app is named like so to evoke the conceptual ethos of creating something new and reinventing the past. Once realized, this software will give the
opportunity to live this dream. The program will allow users to recreate any given person from the past or present as animated avatars, with whom they are able to chat in the form of conversations, which they
script themselves. In addition, here will be an added option of stating a self-help mantra by esoteric practitioner, Kenneth Soares, against the backdrop of utopian landscapes, such as the
jungle, beach, safari and so on. In order to do this, the user will input an image and voice of the person in question. The software will be available for iPhones, Androids and laptops.
WHY DO WE NEED ISKRA TODAY?
We live in a globalized, fast-changing world. Due to these circumstances, we are constantly meeting new people and parting with them without resolving personal issues and conflicts with them. As a result, many people today suffer from separation anxiety. According to the 2019 UK online mental health journal, ‘Mental health problems are one of the main causes of the overall disease burden worldwide. Mental health and behavioural problems (e.g. depression, anxiety and drug use) are reported to be the primary drivers of disability worldwide, causing over 40 million years of disability in 20 to 29-year-olds. Major depression is thought to be the second leading cause of disability worldwide and a major contributor to the burden of suicide and ischemic heart disease. It is estimated that 1 in 6 people in the past week experienced a common mental health problem..’ Furthermore, findings published in 2015 in the "American Journal of Psychiatry” (AJP) indicate that
43.1% of individuals suffer onsets of separation anxiety disorder at some point in their adult lives. ISKRA presents a dynamic and entertaining path to self-therapy for a range of individuals.
Disabled people with mental health challenges, including those who suffer from depression / PTSD, or diagnosed with autism or Asberger’s, will be able to use the app as an aid to depression, separation anxiety and if they are heavily autistic.
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Widows and widowers or those who have suffered a recent loss who can use the app to process this through interaction with the deceased’s avatar.
Older people in need of socialising, who can employ the digital avatars as campaigns when feeling lonely at retirement homes.
The displaced and solitary, including recent immigrant urban dwellers and artists with a financially unstable lifestyle. Characterised by their temporary, social interactions and financial instability, the app will help them to cope with the challenges of living in a metropolis like London by listening to daily mantras rather than reverting to other coping mechanisms such as drugs or alcohol.
HOW DOES ISKRA WORK?
Iskra enables users to import jpg images and mp3 sound files, based on people, whom they want to recreate. The program will implement a 3D face mapping corrector to replicate the visual elements likewise to the
Chinese app MyIdol. The user will then be able to choose the subjects’ body type, hair and clothing from existing templates. The avatar will be shown from waist up similarly to a Skype live chat sessions. The users will then script the questions and avatar responses in a text box below the image. The software will be available in English. The users will be able to install the software for free on their phones (iPhone or Andoid only) as well as their laptops (MACs) with an added possibility of VR (virtual reality), which will be used at the gallery.
LUKA: This is a digital bot startup, which recreates a person’s text message conversations via a neural network. It has been created by Russian programmer, Eugenia Kuyda, following the sudden murder of her friend.
MYIDOL: This is a Chinese app (unfortunately no longer on the app market), which enables users
to reinvent others for fun from imported photos with the help of a 3D face mapping corrector. The avatar is able to perform in different situations, such as fulfilling home chores and/or dancing.
SNAPCHAT: The American app, Snapchat also has a function, where you can mix different faces together into one, which also a form of avatar creation.
SIMS: American video game, which enables users to create characters and environments.ext to edit it.
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