Welcome back to Spatial Beats. Something big is happening with AI and wearables. AI is going to get intimate with us. The device could be your mobile phone, or a tiny pin on your lapel, or it’s a pendant on a chain around your neck. It will record your life, which could in turn be used to train the LLM on your habits and needs. It will annotate, summarize, transcribe, and playback your life. Clicking and dragging will become anachronistic. Voice is going to become the new search. Always on. Always waiting and ready for us to use it. Some devices will have a display, some will not. Last week, Meta showed us how that might work with its newly updated Ray-Ban audio smart glasses. Open AI and Jony Ive, who designed the iPhone, are talking to Softbank about investing a billion dollars in a new AI device described as “the iPhone of artificial intelligence.” Humane is launching its AI pin in November. They’ve raised over $230M.
The New ChatGPT Can “See and ‘Talk.” NYT tech reporter Kevin Roose took a deep dive into “Siri and steroids” and found it to be way more useful and natural than Siri and Alexa. You could get a recipe from showing it a picture of the contents of your fridge. Here’s the paywalled Times story.
Mr. Beast, Tom Hanks Deep Fakes Highlight The Growing Danger. A deep fake showed up on Twitter and TikTok, where they were undetected. Both were compelled to make statements. Mr. Beast wasn’t giving away two-dollar iPhones, and Tom Hanks was not selling dental insurance. To make matters worse, 4Chan just published directions for making political deep fakes and distributing them on social media. No link.
Lots of people are getting this deepfake scam ad of me… are social media platforms ready to handle the rise of AI deepfakes? This is a serious problem pic.twitter.com/llkhxswQSw
— MrBeast (@MrBeast) October 3, 2023
Design Platform Canva Adds GenAI, Including Animation from RunwayML. The graphic design giant just introduced Magic Studio which integrates Runway’s AI animation, enabling videos up to 18 seconds long. Canva also introduced Canva Shield, which provides security controls and indemnification for enterprises using AI. A $200 million fund was also set up to pay creators if their work is used to train Canva’s AI models. Canva competes with Adobe Firefly, which uses an AI model trained on Getty Images 37 M licensed photos.
Meta Files Patent for Building Virtual Worlds with AI. This is something Alvin Graylin predicted at AWE in November 2021. Soon thereafter, in February 2022, Mark Zuckerberg demoed Meta’s ‘builder bot.’ In an email to Forbes in May 2023, a Meta spokesperson told me the bot was only a demo, not a project in development. This seems to contradict that. If average users are going to build the Metaverse they would need help from an app like this.
Animate Anything enables users to bring their own 3D models to life with a simple web interface. This may be inside baseball to many readers, but digital storytellers and game designers often struggle with animation. Indeed, video game companies have animation departments at work populating virtual worlds. Those animators probably don’t want to hear that Animate Anything’s platform allows devs without Maya and Blender experience to rig and animate humans, humanoids, robots and aliens, and all gaits and weights from the animal kingdom: plodders, paddlers, trotters, lopers and leapers, grippers and climbers.
Introducing FREE Grand Ave AR walking tour of downtown LA. It features over 45 AR activations placed throughout a 2-mile radius around Grand Avenue. Built by Hoverlay, Grand Ave Augmented features original art installations and virtual musical performances from more than 30 artists content creators, and partner organizations including the Music Center, LA Central Library, USBank Tower, CAL Edison Building, LA Opera, LA Phil, and Colburn School among others.
There’s a new text-to-video generative AI model, Moonvalley. The beta is free, for now. It allowed us to create the neat animation above. Not exactly what I was looking for from the prompt “Tired 1940s Journalist type working in a frenzy in a small but futuristic office cluttered with laptops, monitors, and extended reality headsets littering the desktop.” One the other hand, how cool is this? The Toronto startup is a 2018 Y Combinator grad. RunwayML and Pika Labs should be looking over their shoulders.
Meta CTO Andrew Bosworth on AR and AI. (Scott Stein/CNet)
Meta has Apple to thank for giving its annual VR conference added sizzle this year (Jonathan Vanian/CNBC)
Pass Through XR — 2010 Again? (Rony Abovitz/Medium)
John Carmak Wondering If MR’s Killer App Exists (Upload VR)
This Week in XR is also a podcast hosted by Paramount’s Futurist Ted Schilowitz, Magic Leap founder Rony Abovitz, 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.