On Becoming A Reality Architect (Not a Reality Star)


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“So you’re a Reality Architect,” a friend said to me, recently. I found the suggestion intriguing in part because I have been thinking about, What does it means to have agency in the algorithmic landscapes of the future that Kevin Slavin describes in How Algorithms Shape Our World. A Reality Architect, if it implies anything, implies a lot of agency! This talk looks at what it means to be an Reality Architect.

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  • Hi my name is Tish Shute. Like most of us I wear a lot of hats. And I frequently work under a designer title. But recently someone said to me, “So you’re a Reality Architect.” I found the suggestion intriguing in part because I have been thinking about what it means to have agency in the algorithmic landscapes of the future that Kevin Slavin describes. And, Reality Architect, if it implies anything implies a lot of agency! But what should be the role of “A Reality Architect?” \n
  • A very clever friend came up with this tag line.\n
  • My career began with motion control photography creating visual effects for film and television. The Motion Control era brought us many of the early design fictions for augmented reality.\n
  • With the arrival of smart phones I focused on the mobile local experience and making AR a reality. I co-founded ARWave - a completely open federated, realtime updating system for geolocated data of any sort.\n
  • But the AR dream has a dark side. This is a still from Keichi Matsuda’s great dystopic vision of AR’s future. Kevin Slavin pointed out in a couple of talks recently that AR as visual layers over reality possibly obscures what is best about reality rather than enhancing it.\n
  • Recently I have been exploring what it means to make reality more interesting. Meet Gatsby is a location aware networking startup that I love. Gatsby orchestrates small world moments and creates contextually aware opportunities and serendipity in real life. \n
  • But we already have experts at making reality more interesting. And when I say I want to make reality more interesting, I have no ambitions to be a reality star. Technology and Story telling are my passions. \n
  • OKCupid is a startup that has been making reality more interesting with a combination of data, math and story telling.\n
  • We are entering a new area of social intelligence where people and algorithms are interacting in interesting new ways. OKCupid has been getting a lot of attention for offering social intelligence that can help us play better in our dating lives. And by connecting social graph, interest graph and location Meet Gatsby hopes to creates new opportunities in our daily activities beyond dating.\n
  • The combination of math, data and story telling is also a key to a new era of corporate intelligence. Quid works with Government and big corporations to help them make better decisions on big questions in a complex world.\n
  • I have augmented this illustration by Sean Gurley of Quid to show where I think one definition of a reality architect emerges. Perhaps an alternate title for a Reality Architect would be a Data Story Teller?\n
  • There is also a new space of personal intelligence emerging. Quantified Self, Self Tracking and Start Ups like, MyMee are giving people new tools to understand ourselves and unravel pressing problems like allergies that frequently leave drs drawing a blank. \n
  • Moodscope adds the power of sharing and benchmarking to the personal intelligence equation. “Lift your mood with a little help from your friends.?\n
  • I am beginning to realize I know a lot of Reality Architects. Brian from Green Goose is designing simple fun sensors that give new ways to play life together and be happier people.\n
  • Nick Crocker demonstrates there are a bunch of little hacks that exist to improve your ability to change\n
  • The wonderful designer Asye Birsel through her project Design the Life You Love (the illustration above is one I did from her recipe) is teaching us organizing your life is not unlike other design problems. “If you can visualize it you can change it.”\n
  • With everyone carrying a powerful sensor device in their pockets, the World is Now a Platform for Story Telling. HipGeo keeps track of your movements and then spits out a slick, animated travel diary. Narrative Science is a company that among other things can turn excel spread sheets into compelling stories for executives. \n
  • But to return to design fictions again. One thing interesting about the HUDs in Iron Man was the emphasis on dialogue, and the sentient portion of the HUD as a character. The Aesthetics of Artificial Intelligence is increasingly directed at this interaction between algorithms and people. SIRI, for example, has a more highly developed character than Google voice. So the Aesthetics of AI is something I think aspiring Reality Architects might want to be think about and will probably play a significant role in future job descriptions and job titles we are yet to think of.\n
  • There is lots more I could say particularly about the importance of agency and putting people at the center of their data. But here are some thoughts what I hope Reality Architects will do.\n
  • The Situationist app injects our present lives with the unexpected.\n
  • And never rule out the potential of the phone toss!\n
  • \n
  • On Becoming A Reality Architect (Not a Reality Star)

    1. 1. On Becoming a Reality Architect (Not a Reality Star) Tish Shute @tishshute tish.shute@gmail.com
    2. 2. Tish Shute, Reality Architect“ She puts the reality back into augmented reality”
    3. 3. Motion Control EraStar Wars, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, The Terminator, Star Trek, 2010
    4. 4. AR Gone BadAugmented (Hyper) Reality
    5. 5. Make Reality More Interesting Meet Gatsby
    6. 6. ...the reality architect versus reality star?
    7. 7. OKCupidSolving Dating Problems with Data, Math & Story Telling
    8. 8. A New Social IntelligenceOKTrends Meet Gatsby
    9. 9. The New Corporate IntelligenceQuid - “augmenting our ability to perceive this complex world”
    10. 10. Reality Architect =Data Story Teller
    11. 11. New Personal Intelligence:From Symptoms to Empowering Data
    12. 12. MoodScope Text
    13. 13. Turning Everyday Things into Opportunities to Play Green Goose
    14. 14. Habit DesignNick Crocker, “Floss the Teeth You Want to Keep”
    15. 15. “Design the Life You Love ” Ayse Birsel
    16. 16. The World is now a Platform for Story Telling. HipGeo
    17. 17. The Aesthetics of ArtificiaI IntelligenceKent Seki, Visualization/HUD supervisor on Iron Man
    18. 18. Create tools (not just maps and visualizations)to make reality more relatable, more constructable , more useable.....
    19. 19. Build technology that helps us live extraordinary lives The Situationist
    20. 20. ...and create more opportunities, for serendipity, and fun in our daily lives! Phone Toss, Finland
    21. 21. Thank You! @tishshutetish.shute@gmail.com