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The future of computing is a symbiosis of machines and people. To achieve this we need an "operating system" upgrade for digital technology. We all need a Guardian Avatar to help us to navigate the "metaverse", and to care for us and protect us.

The future of computing is a symbiosis of machines and people. To achieve this we need an "operating system" upgrade for digital technology. We all need a Guardian Avatar to help us to navigate the "metaverse", and to care for us and protect us.

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  1. 1. Kelly Fitzsimmons, Martin Geddes, Lindsay Seabrook May 2016 The Guardian Avatar
  2. 2. Thanks to our sponsors
  3. 3. • This presentation summarises the research undertaken by the Hypervoice Consortium in 2014. • Our goal was to explore the future of voice as computers join us in conversation • We had the luxury to go away for six months, and both look at what is real and grounded, as well as to think big thoughts. • We adopted an approach of thinking by first principles, not by analogies.
  4. 4. “Dream dreams and write them aye, but live them first.” —Samuel Eliot Morison Historian and Sailor
  5. 5. • Our thinking was grounded in our past experience and expertise: – Kelly Fitzsimmons is an information security expert. Her company, HarQen, had created the world’s first ‘hypervoice’ conference calling service (shown on the next slide). – Martin Geddes is a computer scientist and network performance expert, with a decade of research into voice and messaging. – Lindsay Seabrook is a marketing consultant, empath and (unlike the two Gen Xers above) a ‘millennial’.
  6. 6. We started with a simple question
  7. 7. In the year 2024 how will people communicate?
  8. 8. Perfected conference call?
  9. 9. • Our ingoing hypothesis was that the future of voice would involve some kind of ‘super- improved’ conference call. • We had a list of ten ways in which the experience might change. • You can view the presentation we used to start the conversation with interviewees here.
  10. 10. Interviews with experts                                
  11. 11. Who? Founders CEOs, CTOs, Chairman Managing Directors, Director EVP & SVPs Head of Innovation Analysts Chief Strategist Mobile Design/ UI Expert Head of Digital Inclusion Product Managers Professor of Virtual Reality Professor of Speech Processing AI Experts Infosec experts Unify BT Google Plantronics SIP Forum GSMA KnowledgeVision VoiceSage Expect Labs Venture Capital firms University College London Univ. of South Alabama Center for Forensics, IT and Security University of Edinburgh
  12. 12. Industry survey                                                            
  13. 13. Articles                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                
  14. 14. Videos (lots)
  15. 15. We explored the ecosystem… 150+ companies and products
  16. 16. “In exploration, there needs to be the set of people who have no rules, and they are going into the frontier.” —David E. Kaplan Physicist, “Particle Fever”
  17. 17. We allowed the journey to take us to unexpected places…
  18. 18. What we found was jarring…
  19. 19. WHY? IT CHALLENGED OUR CORE BELIEFS AND ASSUMPTIONS
  20. 20. “Lord, we know what we are, but know not what we may be.” —William Shakespeare Hamlet
  21. 21. Optimism
  22. 22. • We took a fundamentally optimistic view of the future. • The quality and quantity of human life on Earth has been rising substantially. • We see no reason why progress should suddenly reverse in the near future, barring some cataclysmic event.
  23. 23. Core human need
  24. 24. • Voice communication is integral to being human, and as such it will always be part of our ‘conversational DNA’. • The idea that ‘voice is dead’ is tied to the decline of telephony, which is merely one format in which voice communication is packaged.
  25. 25. • There is a good case to be made that the speed of change is indeed increasing. • As such, we are likely to see more change in the next ten years than we have seen in several decades. • That means we need to take a quite radical stance in what is possible.
  26. 26. Information revolutions Communications 1. Computation 2. Sense 
  27. 27. Information revolutions Communications Computation 1. Sense 
  28. 28. We are all cyborgs Cyborgs
  29. 29. Information revolutions Communications Computation Sense
  30. 30. “Information is cheap, meaning is expensive.” —George Dyson, Physicist
  31. 31. Sensors + Sense-making + Sentience Symbols + Structure + Search Senseless to SENSED
  32. 32. Voice belongs to the sensor revolution Sensors Voice Messaging SYMBOLICSENSED
  33. 33. Hypervoice, or…? Hypersense
  34. 34. • We quickly realised that voice could not be seen in isolation from a wider context of a sensor and sense-making revolution. • Voice is intimate bio-sensed data. It is a product of our bodies. This means it belongs with other sensed data like heart rate, skin conductivity, or joint motion.
  35. 35. Timeline… Web 1.0 Hypertext Web 2.0 Hypermessaging Web 3.0 Hypersense Hyperlinks Link Sharing Activity streams
  36. 36. • The future of voice is tied to fundamental advances in how we contextualise information. • The 1990s saw the hypertext Web emerge. • The 2000s added in timelines and gave messages URLs. Social media is really ‘hypermessaging’. • The 2010s are about adding sensed data types; ‘hypersense’ relates information to its physical context using activity streams.
  37. 37. “…the future already has begun…” — Alvin Toffler, Futurist
  38. 38. Our 2024 vision was already happening…
  39. 39. “The world is moving so fast these days that the man who says it can't be done is generally interrupted by someone doing it.” — Elbert Hubbard, Writer & Philosopher
  40. 40. Our ideas were already features of OS releases!
  41. 41. End-of-history illusion
  42. 42. • Our vision was myopic: the ‘end-of-history illusion’ had tricked us into a linear extrapolation of the past in a super-linear world. • We needed to get far more radical!
  43. 43. Wild speculation?
  44. 44. Science fiction?
  45. 45. TCMS Already shipping product!
  46. 46. To see further we had to look to edge cultures HACKER DISABLED GENER- ATIONS GAMER “Mainstream” (10 years away)
  47. 47. To see further we had to look to edge cultures HACKER DISABLED GENER- ATIONS GAMER “Mainstream” (10 years away)
  48. 48. Gaming annexes the world “There is a mass exodus to virtual worlds.” —Edward Castronova
  49. 49. 500 million gamers
  50. 50. 3 billion hours per week
  51. 51. 10,000 hours by age of 21
  52. 52. “Epic wins”
  53. 53. “There is no unemployment in the World of Warcraft.” —Jane McGonigal Game designer and author
  54. 54. The Gaming Paradox From the inside it’s meaningful From the outside it’s meaningless
  55. 55. “Blissful productivity”
  56. 56. • Jane McGonigal describes the feeling state that drives people to play games. • There is a reward of ‘epic wins’, but between those you experience highly meaningful teamwork. • This work that is so intrinsically rewarding that you want to do as much of it as possible. There’s no email or calendaring or traditional meetings. • People are even willing to pay to do this work!
  57. 57. Today’s work: “Going postal”
  58. 58. Look to edge cultures HACKER DISABLED GENER- ATIONS GAMER “Mainstream” (10 years away)
  59. 59. Glomads
  60. 60. Gamification
  61. 61. BYOD = Revolt against the CIO
  62. 62. • The old and the young have an intolerance of complexity, and require extreme simplicity of UI/UX. • They are motivated by the outcome, not the interaction with the mechanism. There has to be a clear answer to “why should I engage with this?”. • Adding clutter and complexity drives these demographics away from technology. It’s all about what we can safely (and possibly magically) remove from the experience.
  63. 63. Look to edge cultures HACKER DISABLED GENER- ATIONS GAMER “Mainstream” (10 years away)
  64. 64. Privacy is dead?
  65. 65. • There is a widespread mem of ‘privacy is dead’. • Strangely enough, a lot of those spreading this meme have a strong commercial interest in your lack of privacy, in order to harvest your identity and resell it to advertisers.
  66. 66. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anonymous_(group)#mediaviewer/File:Anonymous_at_Scientology_in_Los_Angeles.jpg
  67. 67. • The zeitgeist is very much concerned with surveillance and privacy. Many people and technologists are working to restore and enhance our online privacy.
  68. 68. Bring your own device leads to…
  69. 69. BYOID today
  70. 70. Right to be forgotten
  71. 71. Even Google’s founders might regret weak privacy…
  72. 72. Look to edge cultures HACKER DISABLED GENER- ATIONS GAMER “Mainstream” (10 years away)
  73. 73. “People with disabilities are the world's largest minority, an emerging market on par with the size of China!” Source: Denis Boudreau 1 billion people
  74. 74. “There are 650m people classified as hearing impaired in the world. 2%have treatment for their hearing loss.” Source: heartoday.org
  75. 75. We are all disabled some of the time: Driving a car = paraplegic
  76. 76. Disabled people invent solutions to real communications problems…
  77. 77. WHAT’S GOING ON? SENSORS AND SENSING: A SENSUAL AND SENSORY REVOLUTION
  78. 78. Sensual interfaces
  79. 79. “Soundscaping” (and “Sensescaping”) Soundscaping
  80. 80. Wearables 10x growth of device base?
  81. 81. Wearables Immersive
  82. 82. Social Robotics
  83. 83. IoT • Nest “Social” sensing devices
  84. 84. global connected car penetration by 2020 Source: Telefónica
  85. 85. $100 million investment in perceptual computing
  86. 86. WHAT’S GOING ON? SENSE-MAKING
  87. 87. “Machine learning is the most significant technology trend. Computers have to get smarter and anticipate.” —Kevin Turner Microsoft COO
  88. 88. Anticipatory Computing
  89. 89. Virtual Assistants
  90. 90. PROBLEM: We are the sense-making machine
  91. 91. • When on a team retreat to process our research, we heard a ‘beep’ in the house. Then a short while later, another… and another. • Where could it be from? We hunted and waited and hunted. Eventually we found it was a refridgerator door left very slightly ajar. • This was an ‘aha!’ moment: the sensors were applying a new sense-making load onto us.
  92. 92. WHAT’S WRONG?
  93. 93. “Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man's character, give him power.” —Abraham Lincoln
  94. 94. “Too many wrongly characterize the debate as ‘security versus privacy.’ The real choice is liberty versus control.” — Bruce Schneier Security expert
  95. 95. The ethical hole The biggest problem with voice (and all sensor data) is privacy
  96. 96. • Companies harvest a crop that is our identity; the benefit to us is small in comparison. • Voice exposes the disconnect between cost and benefit; the discomfort people have with voice recording is a wake-up call that we are giving too much away.
  97. 97. “Surveillance isn’t simply the all-being all-looking eye. It’s a mechanism by which systems of power assert their power.” —danah boyd Scholar at Microsoft Research
  98. 98. It’s all about… POWER
  99. 99. The crisis…? Power imbalance
  100. 100. Social & technical etiquette “Can we record this meeting?”
  101. 101. • The very process of doing interviews using a hypervoice application alerted us to the problem. • We would ask interviewees if we could record the call for note-taking purposes only. • Our ‘contract’ with them was not, however, being recorded. And there was no enforcement mechanism. • This was an asymmetrical relationship; we had their voice, they could not control it.
  102. 102. Is this the only choice? No privacy Decision fatigue
  103. 103. • As we move to more sophisticated processing of voice, the ‘refrigerator beep’ problem will just grow and grow. • “Can we record your call, run it through my relational coach, transcribe it for our enterprise archive, store it in Iceland, use this data retention policy, test you for possible mental health issues…” • This doesn’t scale as a user experience, or ethically.
  104. 104. “In this possibly terminal phase of human existence, democracy and freedom are more than just ideals to be valued – they may be essential to survival.” —Noam Chomsky "Manufacturing Consent"
  105. 105. THE ABYSS
  106. 106. “The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.” —George Bernard Shaw Playwright
  107. 107. Information obesity
  108. 108. Data spills: Expensive clean-up costs
  109. 109. Web serfdom
  110. 110. • We are experiencing web serfdom. We are the tenant farmer on the Internet. Our identity is being tilled and sold for profit, without us reaping the benefits. • We relinquish all rights when we are in a corporate context, and nearly all right just by using applications. It’s in or opt out. • There is no ability to negotiates terms of use, manage the outcome, audit the process or hold parties accountable.
  111. 111. THE IDEAL
  112. 112. “Doubt and mistrust are the mere panic of timid imagination, which the steadfast heart will conquer, and the large mind transcend.” —Helen Keller
  113. 113. What technologies can get me to this end state?
  114. 114. How do we rebalance power to get to “blissful productivity” (sentient machines working for us) and avoid the abyss (us working for sentient machines) ?
  115. 115. THE BEGINNINGS OF AN AHA!
  116. 116. Something Missing…
  117. 117. • We must offload sense-making and decision- making to smart dynamic systems that act in our interest. • How can this be done? We need to become aware of the framing of the issues that we are attracted to as technologists.
  118. 118. Logic Dominant technology paradigm Feelings Subservient technology paradigm
  119. 119. “Voice is really about emotional connection.” —Daniel Berninger, Telecoms Analyst
  120. 120. Today: masculine paradigm
  121. 121. • The mainframe, minicomputer, PC and smartphone all follow a ‘yang’ paradigm. • There is a closed and known universe with explicit rules that we ‘program’. • The ‘command line’ is perhaps the most obvious exemplar of the masculine paradigm.
  122. 122. Domination vs Partnership
  123. 123. Ecological perspective
  124. 124. Adaptogens Image: Wikipedia
  125. 125. Biomimicry Image: Wikipedia
  126. 126. Permaculture Image: Wikipedia
  127. 127. spirit of america / Shutterstock.com
  128. 128. • The current ecology of data is living in an isolated biodome. • Sensors puncture the biodome. Our view of ‘digital ecology’ needs to adjust accordingly.
  129. 129. DIFFERENT APPROACH?
  130. 130. Artificial Intelligence?Make machines more like us?
  131. 131. Make us more like machines?
  132. 132. Artificial Intelligence? Identity Augmentation?
  133. 133. • Self-augmentation is archetypally female: make-up, hairdos, ear piercings, neck adornments, carrying loads on heads with cloths, breast enhancement. • Is there a fundamentally different paradigm approach? Is “artificial intelligence” even the right framing for the sensor world where we all have bodies?
  134. 134. The ethical dream The biggest problem with voice is privacy
  135. 135. We have virtualised machines… • Compute • Transmission • Storage Computation Storage Transmission
  136. 136. We have not (yet) virtualised… US
  137. 137. Why? HACKER DISABLED GENER- ATIONS GAMER Blissful productivity
  138. 138. What? HACKER DISABLED GENER- ATIONS GAMER Virtualised identity
  139. 139. How? HACKER DISABLED GENER- ATIONS GAMER GUARDIAN AVATAR
  140. 140. THE GUARDIAN AVATAR
  141. 141. Digital doppelgänger
  142. 142. Your better self
  143. 143. • We are intolerant of machines joining us in conversation for a good reason. • To get blissfully productive, we need to get superhuman. • We need new savant qualities. • The Guardian Avatar embodies this; a virtual ‘you’ that has the aspiration of accentuating the best of you and your life.
  144. 144. The “Guardian Avatar” is… 1. An ethical stance
  145. 145. Self-sovereign identity
  146. 146. The “Guardian Avatar” is… 1. An ethical stance 2. A thinking tool 3. Practical technology
  147. 147. “Fourth wall”
  148. 148. The “Guardian Avatar” is… 1. An ethical stance 2. A thinking tool 3. Practical technology
  149. 149. Browser for a hypersense “metaverse”
  150. 150. “The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now.” — Chinese Proverb
  151. 151. Automated TOS lawyer
  152. 152. Why?
  153. 153. 2 million factor authentication: continual sensor data montitoring
  154. 154. Data destruction
  155. 155. How does it work? • Existing technologies – Personal data locker – Federated ID – Distributed identity & trust systems – Distributed storage systems – Biometrics – Inference engines – Privacy filters – Assistants – ASR – Machine translation – Sentiment analysis • New & emerging technologies – VRM – Gesture recognition – Activity recognition – Automatic content linking – Homomorphic encryption – Artificial sentience – Inclusive & adaptive design – Avatar animation – Engagement analysis – Voice reconstruction
  156. 156. Ultimate selfie
  157. 157. Dynamic vs static identity “We change every second that our heart beats. Our identity systems do not reflect this.” – E.K. Fitzsimmons
  158. 158. Why Believe?
  159. 159. Why does it make sense? • Computers are far better at completing tasks where the rules are explicit and the data set is extremely large. • Logical systems are indefatigable and will perform explicit tasks more reliably.
  160. 160. Why should you care? • It will protect our sanity, optimize our work flow to fit our mood, expand our time available for highly rewarding work and allow us to achieve blissful productivity.
  161. 161. Why is it important? • It a moral imperative that we own our own identity. –Self-soverignty should be an inalienable right. • Governments have proven poor at protecting the privacy and managing identity.
  162. 162. “Greater technology will selfishly unleash our talents, but it will also unselfishly unleash others: our children, and all children to come.” — Kevin Kelly, Founder of Wired
  163. 163. www.hypervoice.org Introducing Human Technology video Free report on the Guardian Avatar Follow us on Twitter

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