Updated: Apr 20
This week we're all about AI agents, Visual Positioning System (VPS), YAHAHA, Web3, the father of robotics, the metaverse, Decentraland, Spatial News™ from Finland, and more!
Welcome to the 51st state of Spatial News™ where only Counts can vote! I mean, where your votes can count! "It's 'Joh' like 'Joe' not 'John' or 'Josh' or 'Yoh' like 'yolk' without the 'lk'" — Joh
This is the true story…of 25 AI agents…picked to live in an RPG town…to find out what happens…when bots stop being polite…and start getting real…
"Generative Agents" screenshot courtesy of Stanford University and Google
Some folks at Stanford and Google created a miniature RPG-style version of The Real World, ahem, The Sims. The characters that populate the world have their own little computer minds filled with memories and experiences and mimic human behavior via the same kind of architecture of "rule-based approaches, such as finite-state machines, and behavior trees" that games like Mass Effect and The Sims (duh) use to make behavior believable enough.
The social interaction of the digital creatures is powered by none other than ChatGPT <Ask 'Why didn't Google chose Bard instead?' as a rhetorical question>. Plus, real deal humans can interact with them, too. Read the full paper here.
Last newsletter we discussed how Perceptual Control Theory could help virtual world and avatar designers to understand how people use avatars to achieve their goals. PCT could also be applied to NPCs, which I would wager, would lead to a much less "brute force" method than has been developed over the past 40 years and would make the bots even more believable. Just a conjecture.
Here's something new without a lecture.
What is VPS (Visual Positioning System)?
VPS is 2nd gen GPS that uses computer vision and ML (machine learning) algos to determine the location and orientation of a device like a phone camera in the physical world.
Watch the full episode here. <Add tan hand pointing down emoji>
YAHAHA- making game dev accessible
Web3 - what's coming next?
For Andy Martin it's the creation of a new digital bank, where YOU can be your own bank. Whoa... That's as heavy as gold bullion.
Last week was National Robotics Week (yeah, I missed it, too). Aaron Prather shared a fascinating article about
Ismail Al-Jazari: The Father Of Robotics
the Muslim inventor who lived from (1136–1206) and made the first robots, inspiring the likes of Leonardo Da Vinci. Not too shabby. Give the man his shine.
The Future is a Dead Mall - Decentraland and the Metaverse
Oh Heavens, here we go...
In SN 012, I shared YouTube creator Dan Olson’s viral critique Line Goes Up: The Problem with NFTs. This time he hones in on the metaverse as embodied by Decentraland, the "billion dollar beta" (my words not his but gets the gist of his argument). Olson's critique bites... like a Great White.
His Folding Ideas video was produced and posted after Decentraland's first Metaverse Fashion Week. With the second MFW in the books, it seems like things haven't gotten better since then as Decentraland Metaverse Fashion Week attendance plummets 76%... They have some good folks working over there, so I'm curious to see if and how they can help turn this mammoth around.
If we look at how virtual worlds like Decentraland are doing and go by news like Disney eliminates it's metaverse division, Microsoft shuts down its Industrial Metaverse team, and Meta invests more in AI than the metaverse where does that leave a company like Spatial8 that acts as a concierge helping brands in their journey towards the metaverse? Taking Dan's own words,
"When you understand that the metaverse isn’t a distinct invention or construct but merely a rhetorical proxy for The Future of Technology then all of this becomes a lot easier to deal with."
I've been saying something along these lines for a while now. We at S8 see the idea of the metaverse as a 'placeholder' for how more established and newly emerging technologies (like gaming, XR, AI, IoT, Blockchain, drones, robotics, etc.) can work together to solve business problems.
Sure, XR can solve certain problems, AI others, XR + AI others still. But what happens when these and other emerging technologies are brought together? The next evolution of the Web? Maybe.
'Metaverse' is as good a word as any to try and capture this future. Its got baggage, it's true, but we've already bought the tickets and are walking through the airport, so let's enjoy the trip. And if the hucksters and scammers get in the way you can take a page out of Airplane!
How're these for slogans?
"Plant Your Flag on the Digital Frontier - Stress-free - with Spatial8!"
"Spatial8: We Run through the Metaverse so You Don't Have to"
"Metaverse Made Easy: Spatial8, Your Trusted Concierge for the Digital World".
"If you want something done right, let us do it for you. Spatial8: Metaverse Concierge"
Remember, your vote can count! (But it probably won't.)
Either way Spatial8 is here to help brands learn more about emerging technologies, experiment with them, and apply them to problems that need solving.
Spatial News™ from Finland:
Yesterday was an eventful day in the Finnish XR and metaverse scene. The day started off with the
Finnish National Metaverse Strategy Kickoff
organized by Business Finland and the University of Oulu that brought together a who's who of Finnish corporations like Nokia, Kone, and Valmet, universities, scale-ups, startups, and entrepreneurs. Working groups were organized into four main categories: 'industrial metaverse', 'consumer metaverse', 'smart cities', and 'enabling technologies'. I can't say much more than that though. It's real hush hush.
The evening was capped off by
FOV Venture's first birthday bash.
In their first year, they've invested in 14(!) startups, but they'll slow down to 'only' 9 next year as per David Haynes. What a way to make a splash.
Upcoming Event Alert:
Welcome to AWE Nite Northern XR: Live from Turku! This will be a hybrid event on Wednesday, April 26th from 17:30-21:30 PM EEST. The live portion will be co-hosted by Jami Aho, Project Specialist of Turku University of Applied Sciences, at SparkUp in Turku Science Park Ltd and will focus on XR projects from higher education and start ups in the Turku (Southwest Finland) region and VR training.
The online portion will be on awe.live from 18-19:30. To take part in the meet up please use this link to register. Find this session and join. The registration only needs to be done once, and it's completely free.
Follow the link in the tile to check out the agenda. See you there!
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Spatialists that made it from our LinkedIn newsletter, I salute you!