Virtual reality is here, its much more attractive now than it was two decades ago, mainly because of the development of smartphones and mems based accellerometers. You can now put a cartboard box on your face and with some forgiving believe you are flying and doing all kinds of tricks. Virtual reality content development is still in its infancy, we wrote about it, it’s not easy and it is likely that developing efficient methods to render VR will also give a boost to AI.
We are also seeing the advent of almost better than human speech recognition, increasingly human sounding speech generation. No surprise we will soon see fully AI avatars in virtual reality, sounding like people, listening like one (of course not really). This will have two main effects : People will fall in love with VR, our brain not being capable of making the destinction between reality and virtuality. Some may become hooked and never leave their room again. Heroin withdrawl is so awfull because the system that is tricked into overdrive by the drug is similar to that which forms our social bonds. Imagine how hooked people will be on VR buddies and girlfriends..
But a second effect is that people become empowered. This will happen because VR + AI allows the creation of tutors of all kinds. Without the limitations of reality people can be taught all kinds of things, all kinds of skills and explore the world in unprecedented ways. With speech functions and AI people will be able to discuss topics, explore verbally, act out verbal behaviours, run through interaction scenarios. Imagine the possibilities if you can interact with a tutor, and the knowledge is exactly what will work for you in reality. Or imagine what the effect if of a tutor walking a young vulnerable boy through every crime ever committed against his ‘kind’.
Augmented reality is awsome
We can all have a personal tutor, in karate, languages, sales strategies you name it. And we may find some political organizations will create ones that help women empower themselves, not have to content with seeing a conversation on TV or youtube they might miss or never find, for which they are not in the mood. Instead they may find a VR avatar able to show ways out of their problems, ones that teach how to have certain difficult conversations. The way AI and VR can help humanity is unimaginable.
Microsoft’s Hololens is the most advanced device for this application. It seamlessly melds reality with virtuality. The third itteration is about to be released. How will people respond if its technology drops in price. How will it work with future generations of VR and AR rendering engines, including speech and AI? It will be a revolution.