Augmented Humans in an Augmented World: Quantified Desire


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Tish takes a look at how Augmented Reality has emerged in Science Fiction as a means to enhance human senses (especially sight) and create super powers. But, will these super powers be used for good or evil? Tish suggests that we can look to the quantified self movement and it's extension into habit design to find ways for augmented humans to take charge of their own desire engines. Product design, up to now, has focused on creating habits from the perspective of marketing and business. But augmented humans in an augmented world could have an opportunity to explore a more personal habit design that can enhance their own and other people's lives with entertaining and even healthful routines rather than habits that can quickly turn into wasteful addictions.

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  • Augmented Humans in an Augmented World. Hi my name is Tish Shute aka the women with three heads! I’m Co-Founder with OriInbar of Augmented World Expo and Augmented, and I havethe great privilege of working with Will Wright,the legendary creator of Sim City, The Sims, and Spore, and his awesome team on his new project.
  • . [Disclaimer: This talk does not disclose or represent any work by Syntertainment -- I am merely sharing my own personal experience and perspectives with the AR community]
  • Ori dropped this BEE-HAG on me early last year. He proposed we create a foundation - to accomplish this mission to inspire 1 billion people to actively use augmented reality by the end of the decade. I like BEE_HAGS a lot but this one really sent me into an existential quandary. As we all know Augmented Reality has spawned some pretty compelling, scary and weird dystopic visions of how humanities’ augmented future will play out.
  • Here are just a few of these design fictions. I suspect most of the audience here is familiar with these. The bottom left is The Frog Design concept for a virtual layer that could be used to re-skin a troubling outside world. Above this is a frame from a short film on the future of augmented reality with cerebral implants and digital contact lenses imagined by graduate students Eran May-raz and Daniel Lazo. Top right is Keichi Matsuda’s ifamousAugmented (hyper)Reality: Domestic Robocop.Bottom right is my 13 yr old son’s favorite youtube video team Smosh riffing on the role Glass might play in adolescent boys lives.
  • Dystoptic visions of augmented reality have a long history but that history is for another talk. However this is one of my favorites. The Krell Machine from the classic 1956 science fiction film, "Forbidden Planet” turned thoughts into reality – including terrifying monsters from the id. Existential dilemmas abound! Robby the Robot has been programmed to obey Asimov's Three Laws of Robotics but he refuses to kill the "Id monster" because the robot recognizes that the invisible creature is an alter ego/extension of Dr. Morbius his creator.
  • Turning thoughts into reality is now design fact rather than design fiction thanks to Steve Mann. I can’t tell you how excited I am to hear his talk tomorrow.
  • We have come a long way since 2010 when we started Augmented Reality Event. Back then there was a lot of AR that made Jesse Schell (and the rest of us) rather sad!
  • I hope you all saw Mary Meeker’s recent internet trends report. If you did, like me, you might start to think that the BEE-HAG of 1 billion people actively using augmented reality by the end of the decade might not be a BEE-HAG at all!. In this slide Mary points out Wearables are coming on strong and faster than typical technology cycles …
  • The future of wearables is emerging from a new ecosystem. Kickstarter / Indiegogo etc. are “new kinds of stores – special kinds of stores that signal what people want & don’t want,” points out Mike Kuniavsky who will also be talking later today. For all of you who caught the hardware startup competition yesterday or have had a chance to stroll down hardware startup alley in the Expo Hall you are getting an exciting glimpse of a movement which may prove to be the most significant force driving augmented reality from design fiction to design fact. Brady Forrest will be talking more on this hardware startup movement later today in his presentation
  • We are seeing the emergence of concepts of augmented reality that go beyond earlier notions of augmented seeing or shared seeing. Mashable said of these Eidos masks that they give you superhuman abilities. The Eidos project, consists of a pair of prototype sensory enhancement masks developed by students at the Royal College of Art in London.
  • But if it can’t be used for evil it’s not a super power! My concern of course about setting up a foundation to augment humanity might be described as the Jean Grey dilemma. As The Watcher comments on the struggles of Jean Grey with her Dark Phoenix persona, "Jean Grey could have lived to become a god. But it was more important to her that she die...a human”
  • Will Oremus in his recent Slate article asked the question: “Superhero or Supervillain?If science gives people superpowers, will they use them for good or evil? & what if it also turns out that some types of powers inherently lend themselves to altruism, while others make us more likely to lie, cheat, steal, or kill? Last year, Stanford researchers recruited 60 volunteers for an experiment on how virtual superpowers could influence moral decisions, in an immersive virtual-reality simulation. Luckily, their findings suggest that acquiring a superpower can spark benevolent tendencies.
  • But wait—what if the researchers had given their subjects a different superpower? Rosenberg’s co-author, Stanford communications professor Jeremy Bailenson, explained that they chose the power of flight for their experiment partly because it seemed like a classic “do-gooder” sort of ability. “We thought about giving them X-ray vision, but that would have been a little creepy.” If you attended ARE2010 you will know.Jesse Schell’s talk riffed on the Roger Corman’s classic from 1963, “X: The Man with the X-Ray Eyes,” Jesse pointed out that the history of Augmented Reality has been about “seeing” – about wanting to see more. But, as Jesse noted, there is something of a stigma associated with wanting to see more, something a bit creepy about it. Why do you want to see so much? That’s the question posed to Dr X at the beginning of the movie. What is the purpose of seeing more? How will you use your new vision?
  • I think the father of wearable computing gave us a great answer to these questions, answers that will encourage us to use our new super powers more for good rather than evil. BabakParviz of Glass said in a Wired interview, Mann sees wearable computers as offering something closer to a "mediated reality" -- one that allows wearers to tailor their environment to suit themselves; even blocking ads and billboards in real life, just as an ad blocker filters ads on the web. Mann himself calls this type of mediation "Personal Imaging," and says it will be "one of the most far-reaching and important aspects of the coming wearable cybernetics revolution."
  • I’m running out of time now but I think there is a very important frame that needs to be integrated with this vision of personal imaging to setaugmented humans in an augmented world on a path beneficial to humanity. The Desire Engine so brilliantly expounded by NirEyal shows how startups manufacture desire by guiding users through a series of experiences designed to create habits. Combining this notion of the desire engine with ideas from the quantified self and habit design opens up the possibility of desire engines not just being used by big business & startups aspiring to become the next big thing but for personal habit design. NirEyal points out habit design is indeed a super power. If used for good, habit design can enhance people’s lives with entertaining and even healthful routines. If used for evil, habits can quickly turn into wasteful addictions.
  • I have lots more to say about personal habit design and desire engines but that will also have to wait for another talk. But to close I hope many of you hear join Ori and I to make Ori’s BEE HAG a reality. And through Augmented I hope we will continue to work together as a community to create augmented super powers serve good and not evil!
  • Augmented Humans in an Augmented World: Quantified Desire

    1. 1. [Disclaimer/Spoiler: This talk does not disclose or represent anywork by Syntertainment -- I am merely sharing my own personalexperience and perspectives with the AR community]
    2. 2. The BEE-HAG• a big, hairy and audacious goal (a BEE-HAG):to inspire 1 billion people to actively useaugmented reality - by the end of thedecade (1B2020).
    3. 3. Dystopic Visions of Augmented Humanity
    4. 4. The Krell Machine, Forbidden Planet,1956A machine that turns thoughts into reality.
    5. 5. ARE2010 - AR that made Jesse Schell sad
    6. 6. Mary Meeker’s Internet Trends Report
    7. 7. The future of wearables is emergingfrom a new ecosystemKickstarter / Indiegogo etc. are “new kinds of stores –special kinds of stores that signal what people want &don’t want,” Mike Kuniavsky
    8. 8. “Eidos Masks: “This Mask Gives You SuperhumanAbilities” Mashable
    9. 9. But if it can’t be used for evil it’s not asuper power!The Jean Grey / Dark Phoenix dilemma
    10. 10. Virtual super powers encourage realworld altruism
    11. 11. “We thought about giving them X-ray vision, butthat would have been a little creepy”
    12. 12. “a new way to look at things, rather than somethingnew to look at.” Our Augmented Selves, Engadget“Personal Imaging” – Steve Mann
    13. 13. Personal Habit Design
    14. 14. A Global Not-For-Profit Organization toadvance augmented realityAugmentedReality.orgCo-Founders Ori Inbar & Tish Shute
    15. 15. Thank you!