Welcome back to Spatial Beats. AI-generated content (text, photo, video) is the tech story of the month, if not the year. CES is sure to be full of it, along with Metaverse everything. Thanks to free sites chatGPT and Stable Diffusion, everyone is getting a good taste of what AI can and can’t do. In fact, the sites are so popular right now there’s a good chance you’ll get a busy signal if you log in at prime time. I asked ChatGPT to “write an introduction to Charlie Fink’s Forbes column about advances in text AI.” Here’s what it had to say (my notes in brackets).

“Charlie Fink is a Forbes contributor who writes about the latest advancements in artificial intelligence and its various applications. In his column, Fink often discusses the ways in which AI is revolutionizing industries such as healthcare, finance, and education [Not True – CF]. In recent articles, he has explored the potential of text AI to improve customer service, automate tedious tasks, and even help businesses understand their customers better. [Not true-CF] With its ability to understand and analyze large amounts of text data, text AI has the potential to greatly improve the efficiency and accuracy [LOL] of many business processes. In his Forbes column, Fink examines the latest developments in this exciting area of technology and shares his insights on how it will continue to shape the future of AI.”

Looks like my job is safe for now. People are suggesting chatGPT could be used to write code. Without errors? I’d like to see that. For now, chatGPT seems best suited to high school history papers, and fake blog posts.

I moved over to Stable Diffusion where the question results in an image rather than a paragraph of text. The art here is in the question, not in the image created from the query.

Stable Diffusion does much better with literal questions, like show me the winner of the Indy 500, or Tiger Woods winning the Masters.

How Will VR and Generative-AI Art Converge?

Metaverse company Infinite Reality will go public through a $1.85B SPAC. Infinite Reality is an” immersive digital experiences company working with brands such as Warner Bros. and Discovery Sports” on eSports and other metaverse enterprises. The company plans to go public through a SPAC agreement with Newbury Street Acquisition Corporation. The transaction values the combined company at $1.85 billion. Techcrunch broke down a sample list of 50 completed SPAC deals and it was fugly.

Ten Gifts That Can’t Miss. I never know what to get them. I’m like a deer in headlights. Then it starts to be late. Choices dwindle. So this year, I made a list and checked it thrice. Some of these prices are nice, too, as low as $10.

HTC will launch a standalone VR HMD at CES. The company isn’t planning to release full details until CES on January 5th. But HTC global head of product Shen Ye spoke exclusively with The Verge about its design.

Apple’s new whiteboard app Freeform gives you and up to 99 friends an ‘infinite canvas.’ A new feature showed with the latest iOS update with little fanfare. Freeform enables sharing and collaborating on text, images, and drawings. You can share in real-time with up to 99 people.

Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney thinks “every politician should fear” Apple’s power. Epic and Apple are in the middle of a court battle to end Apple’s monopoly on the iPhone App Store. At the same time, as part of a sweeping overhaul aimed at complying with strict European Union requirements coming in 2024, the app store will soon allow alternative app stores on its iPhones and iPads anyway, allowing customers to download third-party software to their Apple devices, which is what Epic wants in the US, too.

Anima Raises $3M and Launches Onlybots, which are AR-enabled digital pets. An augmented reality protocol enables the pet to be shared universally. Anima‘s funding came from HashKey, Not Boring Capital, Polygon Studios and NGC Ventures. They join the company’s previous investors Coinbase Ventures, Flamingo, and Divergence Ventures.

Engage XR Shares Fall After Conservative Guidance Engage, one of the leading VR sites for productivity and education is widely used by both “metaversities,” including Stanford, and as a corporate events platform (marketed by HTC). Engage is in the process of expanding into a multifaceted metaverse for business, creativity, education, and bespoke personal spaces. CEO David Whelan calls it “the Linkedin of the Metaverse,” which would include a premium layer. Engage is busy. They launched mobile versions this year. It’s a lot for a company of fifty people. Meta is struggling with this, and they spend $10 B a year. Conservative guidance and… well.. math, suggest the company needs to raise more outside capital. Investors hit the doors, driving the ultra-small cap stock to an all-time low.

Spatial Creator Toolkit launches to help creatives build online worlds. It just got a little easier to build virtual worlds on Spatial, thanks to a new SDK that allows a level to be imported seamlessly. There is increasing competition for World Builders, and reducing friction is key to retention.

Elton John Plots Next Career Move: The Metaverse. The 75-year-old John has already partnered with the online gaming platform Roblox for a 10-minute virtual live performance: Elton John Presents: Beyond the Yellow Brick Road.

The NBA’s Official AR Game Launches January 2023. The National Basketball Association (NBA) and National Basketball Players Association (NBPA) are partnering with Niantic, the developer behind Pokémon GO, on NBA All-World, a location-based augmented reality (AR) mobile game that will have you exploring the real world in search of digital collectibles and interactive mini-games.

Meetings in the metaverse: Our experience with HTC Vive Sync (Charles McLellan/ZDnet)

How Will AR in Retail Revolutionise the Customer Experience? (XRToday)

Bored Ape Yacht Club Conquered NFTs. Can It Master the Metaverse Next? (Daniel Van Boom/Cnet)

This Week in Schadenfreude

Meta staff are hitting out at Mark Zuckerberg in Blind reviews because they think his metaverse obsession will ‘single-handedly kill’ the company (Jyoti Mann/Insider)

Why Apple’s Next Big Thing Still Isn’t Here (Ian Scherr/Cnet)

This Week in XR is now a podcast hosted by Paramount’s Futurist Ted Schilowitz and Charlie Fink, the author of this weekly column. You can find it on podcasting platforms Spotify, iTunes, and YouTube. Watch the latest episode below.

Charlie Fink is an author and futurist focused on spatial computing. See his books here. Spatial Beats contains insights and inputs from Fink’s collaborators including Paramount Pictures futurist Ted Shilowitz.

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