AI can create virtual humans that look realistic. It’s sometimes difficult to tell the difference between real and virtual actors in movies, for example. As this is a well-known trick, to make the faces of virtual humans good-looking or look like something considered to be good-looking, AI calculates out the average faces of many real people. We seem to judge average faces as good-looking. I have known this mentality of human beings for a long time, but a doubt had been left in my mind as a long-standing mystery. If average faces are good-looking, the world should be filled more with people like Cleopatra and Don Juan, where I would feel difficult to survive.
It is a book that saved me from the edge of the abyss. The title is “The End of Average” written by Todd Rose, a psychologist in Harvard University. He measured more than 4000 U.S. Air Force pilots to calculate their average size to optimize the size of a cockpit, and later found there was no one who met average in all the 10 points of measurement. What the result of his research showed is simple and clear: there’s no average pilot, no average people.
Now I understand why there are not many people like Cleopatra and Don Juan even though average faces are judged to be good-looking. Average is nothing but our illusion, and there’s no one who has an average face. This time, I was going to ignore another mystery: why we judge average faces as good-looking, but I come to feel like it may be because of our nature to seek for a utopia or cry for the moon. In connection with today’s theme, “average,” let me introduce one of our dining chairs, KAMUY designed by a Japanese designer, Naoto Fukasawa. The design is so plain, and there’s nothing novel or eccentric. The designer calls it “the most chair-like chair.” In the language of today’s theme, it can be called “the average chair” that is good-looking, a chair of our fantasy.
He is travelling around the world. His passion is to explain Japan to the world, from the unique viewpoint accumulated through his career: overseas posting, MBA holder, former official of the Ministry of Finance.