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Phil Dearson

On Artificial Reality

published8 months ago
4 min read

You might notice the newsletter's had a little rebrand, or you might not. No important reason for it. I was asked if it was possible to listen to the content. It wasn't, so I fixed it. In so doing, I realised I couldn't host the audio versions in the usual places because "Method in the Madness" was unavailable. Lesson learned - check all possible channels before naming anything, you great doofus.

If you want to listen to this article while you're stuck in a lorry park on the M20, the link is below. I'm working through the back catalogue and will be asking people if they're interested in being interviewed soon.

I used to write regularly for the Adobe Blog. This is a piece that they rejected. I wonder if you can guess why ;)


On Artificial Reality

Hello, Reader. Let me just check your identity for a moment, please… That’s great, thank you. Now, that device you’re using… ok, we’re optimised for you now. Please note that upgrades will be available for you shortly, at a discounted rate! I’ll bet you’re glad you came here now.

I hope you enjoy your visit to this content item. I just updated all of your records to reflect your interest in this subject matter. You’ll be glad to hear you’ll be seeing a lot more that’s similar to this in the coming weeks. I’ll be curating a collection tailored just for you. Whenever I find anything I know you’re going to love, I’ll let you know. OK? I’ll use the preferred channels we have on file for you.

I can’t help but notice that you are now reading this section of the content item. I’m really glad you’re staying with us here, on this item, so I’m authorised to reward you with 25 Attention Points! That’s my way of thanking you for your valuable time. I’ve credited your account and all network partners have been updated with the latest amendments to your Taste Profile. No need to thank me. I offer this service as an Invisible Background Benefit (terms and conditions apply), saving you time and money.

Oh dear. I notice that you are unimpressed with the Invisible Background Benefit. Having just consulted my organisation’s Empathy Framework I’m delighted to tell you that your account has been credited with a further 25 Attention Points for compensation. Oh, that’s better! I’m so glad I was able to empathise with your needs on this occasion.

Did you know that one of your colleagues is only 5% sceptical about the idea of Artificial Reality? If you were to share this content item with them I’m fairly confident that their Net Approval Score for you would increase by at least 20 points. Yes, I thought that might stimulate you. I’ve sent your colleague a message from you, drawing their attention to this content item. Again, no need to thank me. I’m here simply to serve your Interpreted Will, saving you the time and effort of acting on it yourself.

You may be interested to know that, across your Professional Interest Group, a Consensus Rating of “Very Interesting” has been agreed for this content item. You can be confident that when discussing it with professional connections up to three degrees removed from you, they will find it stimulating, increasing your Net Approval Score.

One of the topics in this content item with the greatest contribution to the Very Interesting rating was “Consumer Reality Skins”. Yes, that’s right. Object recognition and planar mapping in the next generation of wearable augmented reality devices is advanced enough to allow people to customise the reality they see. Yes, the Westworld Reality Skin, when downloaded to your AR device, can map your physical surroundings and skin them with the old-time Wild West of America. Street furniture is transformed into cacti and desert flora. Vehicle enforcement officers become “black hat” bandits you can shoot. Public transport becomes a stagecoach.

Westworld and the other new Reality Skins, like Medieval Reality, Undersea Reality and Moonbase, are fairly extreme in terms of the degree of immersion. Your Taste Profile tells me that’s probably too much for you (but your kids are going to love it). Instead, for the last year I have been making only slight adjustments to the reality you perceive, in order to present an environment more consistent with your worldview, preferences and ambitions. Your reality is now much more closely aligned with that preferred and experienced by your Professional Interest Group. Indeed, they have given this reality a Consensus Rating of “Quite Acceptable”. I am delighted you feel the same way.

I will continue to confer Invisible Background Benefits, automatically optimising the reality you perceive, without any need for your input. I will endeavour to engineer serendipity for you, especially in the meeting of new individuals that are a good fit for your Professional Interest Group. Where intellectual stimulus is desired, or simply information about the world, you can be sure that I will be exposing you to only the most interesting and useful content, as determined by Consensus Ratings across Groups like yours.

I notice that you have reached the end of this content item. I’m very pleased to announce that you have been awarded an additional 100 Attention Points! Over the past week, you have completed a grand total of 10% of all the content items you began. That’s a massive improvement on your 5% record for the last year. Clearly, the updates I’ve been making to your Taste Profile have been accurate. I’m very pleased that this pleases you and I have updated your public mood icon to reflect this.

Your vehicle is waiting to escort you to your next engagement.


Signals

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Happy Easter!

Phil


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