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Using Augmented Reality to Gain Supersight

Using Augmented Reality to Gain Supersight

Our final guest of 2022 is entrepreneur, product innovator, and lecturer at MIT, David Rose. Pulling on an extensive background as VP at Warby Parker and as a long-time explorer of ambient technologies, David recently released his book Supersight: What Augmented Reality Means for Our Lives, Our Work, and the Way We Imagine the Future.

Exploring this topic takes us on a tour of some of the incredible work currently taking place and the pragmatic impacts many industries will soon experience, as well as the not-too-distant future where we might all walk around with AR glasses that change the look of reality itself. In addition to the many opportunities this presents for businesses and individuals, we naturally explore the potential dystopian downfalls. We explore the lessons the rapid adoption of GPT-3 and AI art have for AR, and ways we might stay optimistic as tech appears to gain increasingly human-like performance.

Find more about David and his work at twitter.com/davidrose

And we'll be returning on January 9th, 2023 with new episodes for our 4th season of the show. We'll see you then!


Host: Steven Parton - LinkedIn / Twitter

Music by: Amine el Filali


David Rose [00:00:00] My hope is that Supersight gives us this kind of imagination engine that will help us just by holding up our phones or by putting on glasses. Kind of see futures that are more desirable, that can kind of build a conversation and build a consensus and help us to prioritize our resources and time on kind of making it so. 

Steven Parton [00:00:35] Hello everyone. My name is Steven Parton and you are listening to the feedback loop on Singularity Radio. Now before we get too deeply into the specifics of today's episode, I just want to let everyone know that this is indeed our final episode of 2022. But after a short holiday break will be back on January 9th, 2023, with a brand new episode to kick off our fourth season of the show. And on that note, I'd like to quickly thank everyone for your support, your kind words, and for continuing to share the podcast with your peers, which has helped to make this one of the most listened to podcast in the entire world. It's been a true honor to do this show, and I wake up every day excited to keep doing it. So truly. Thank you very much for listening. And now with that out of the way, let's get to our final guest of the year. David Rose, who is an entrepreneur, a product innovator and who lectures at MIT. Now, David recently released his book Super site What Augmented Reality Means for Our Lives, Our Work and the Way We Imagine the Future. This pulls extensively on his background as a VP at Warby Parker and as a longtime explorer of ambient technologies. In addition to exploring the sci fi like future that we might be soon finding ourselves in, where everyone walks around with augmented reality glasses that change the look of reality itself. Exploring these topics of David's book takes us on a tour of some of the incredible work that's currently taking place and some of the very pragmatic impacts that many industries are currently experiencing and will soon experience. In addition to the many opportunities that this presents for businesses and for individuals, we also explore the potential dystopian downfalls. We explore how the recent rapid adoption of GPT three and AI art relates to what we could expect from augmented reality and the ways in which we might stay optimistic as tech appears to gain increasingly humanlike performance. There's a lot to be explored in this topic, and we try to do our best to cover as much of it as we can in the hour we have. So let's waste no more time and just dove into it. Everyone, please welcome to the feedback loop. David Rose. At the moment? Well, I think the best place to start then is to ask the very obvious question here. As related to your previous book, what is super site and why is it important? 

David Rose [00:03:16] Yeah, so thanks for the question. I think, you know, if you look at major technology kind of step changes when it comes to new tech that we've experienced over the last decades, you know, it really personal computing, mobile computing, voice based interfaces and then wearables are kind of I see that as kind of the evolution of tech and how we interact with this technology. And I see that the inevitable next wave of tech is going to be wearables that change how we see. So I think we're already seeing, you know, wearables that change how we hear by having like airpod pros that can do specialized audio and can mix audio into the world around us in more and more clever ways. And I think the mixing of what we see through our real glasses and current glasses and digital layers is kind of the next exciting change for technology. And I was just I just attended the Snapdragon launch last a couple of weeks ago. Snapdragon two is smaller, more powerful, more battery efficient. The chipsets are able to render more and both kind of use the compute on your phone as well as compute that's embedded in the glasses to give you like low latency blending of virtual and real. And so I think it's like it's the most interesting space if you're an entrepreneur, if you're a designer and you're interested in like, well, what's next? You know, I kind of figured out how to use figma and design stuff for mobile. You know, this is the next design really kind of blue ocean opportunity to figure out what are the interaction paradigms, how will you point to something, click on something. You know, all of that is unknown. Yeah. 

Steven Parton [00:05:13] And I guess the other follow up question of that that I think is the obvious one to get out of the way, given that optimism that you're expressing there is why did Google Plasters so horrible? Snapdragon is not a small company, but Google is one of the biggest. And so for Google to flop so tremendously in this space seems to suggest that something was wrong with the technology or with the P the masses willingness to adopt it. How do you think about that? 

David Rose [00:05:40] Yeah, well, I think Qualcomm kind of has the right approach where they are licensing their reference platform to dozens of hardware makers who are thinking about new glasses. And so, you know, they really are low enough on the stack that they're enabling a lot of this new augmented reality world, augmented reality hardware. But they won't be the only brand that you recognize when it comes out. So there will be Lenovo and Snap and Matta and many others who are will be promoting the hardware. And then there's this whole other software layer of tools that are that kind of sit above that. And the two biggest ones that, you know, I'm working with right now and on different projects are Unity, which is a game engine and also Unreal Engine, which is, you know, known for for, you know, some of the best games that that everyone's playing. So it's kind of cool that, you know, if you're a game developer or a designer, then you can kind of ignore a lot of the layers below the game engines. And once you do experiences that are in game engines, then those can those will be able to be, you know, in the app stores of all of these future glasses. 

Steven Parton [00:06:59] Yeah. And given your obviously extensive background working with companies that make glasses, do you think the form factor is arriving there to where it is getting ready for people to say, you know, just have as an everyday pair and not something that becomes kind of gimmicky or obtrusive. 

David Rose [00:07:18] Yeah. I don't think it will. I think it'll still be a few years before it's every everybody has every day all day glasses. I think there will be lots of reasons for kind of more episodic uses of these, like your in a new city and you need translations so you don't have to wear those all day, every day. But those glasses will give you translations or you're in a science museum or you're in a national park and you just like you want you want the world labeled in front of you. And you will kind of want to learn more in a, in a different way. I think there will be glasses that you will pop on that will be more kind of episodic in the same way that you'd take, you know, headsets around a museum today. So actually, I think one of the most interesting kind of B-to-B opportunities are those are those situations where you don't really care that much today about weight or about or about size because you're already wearing a helmet. If you're a construction worker or, you know, working in a power plant, you you may already need safety glasses. Right. So if you're working, there are lots of jobs where you already have to wear wrapping wrap around kind of big, awkward safety glasses. There's a company out of Rochester, New York, called Views IX, and they have a new product called The Shield. And it's ah, it's binocular air glasses. They're really some of the best displays that I've seen in the last couple of months. And they're really marketing it as a, a pair of glasses that, you know, that, that also protect you, you know, that you that you wear when you're operating machinery. The reason that Google Glass failed, I mean, I my own take on that is that the value of having a floating information that's kind of up and above to the right of the world is in many cases a lot less useful and more awkward than actually gluing information to the world. So most of these most of the air glasses that people are working on today use something called specialized location and mapping, which means that the glasses have a vision system themselves that are looking at the world, that are meshing the world in front of you, and that no kind of wear to what's in front of you, who's in front of you in order to superimpose information, kind of in the context of the world in front of you. So that's just so much, so much nicer than having something that is just glued to your head and kind of acting like a, you know, a card that's always sitting up into the right. But if you're working on something where you really have to use both of your hands and you can't really reference manual or something else that could be useful, you know, up on a ladder. 

Steven Parton [00:10:20] Yeah. I mean, I can definitely see it becoming something like the pair of sunglasses that you carry around with you or like I always have the earbuds in my pocket and I could see it being the case where if you could make it convenient time to fold the glasses at the hinge point or something and put it in your pocket and then pull it out when you want to use it. It would be something that I think a lot of people would keep on them daily if it was functional. 

David Rose [00:10:44] Yeah, I just was sent a pair of glasses from a company, a French company. Just. Just. I'm going to grab them. Mm hmm. Yeah, I'll put them on for you. Even though everyone who's listening doesn't see them. We can do these. These. These look like Oakley is. Oh, you can't. You can't tell from the when I'm wearing them that there's any tech inside at all. If I turn them over, you can see they have on the nose bridges. There's a there kind of have a thickened nose bridge which is actually disguising Bluetooth and a little peek, a little projector and a little mirror. But what I mentioned about kind of using them for very bespoke reasons, this is just for runners and bikers. So there's just takes the data which is on your Garmin watch, which is art, you know, which is already relevant to how fast am I going, what's my heart rate know, what's my pace, what's my performance? And and just and it just shows you that in the center of your of your vision and you would say, like, well, isn't the information on your wrist kind of close enough to to what your to what you're seeing on on the you know, on these smart glasses? And they're they're called active. Look, that's the name of the name of the French brand. 

Steven Parton [00:12:07] They're very sleek. I mean, they're really. 

David Rose [00:12:08] Yeah, yeah. They look they look great. And and it turns out that if you're a runner or a biker, you know that when you're running, you actually it actually slows you down to break stride and to hold your arm up and to try to squint and to try to like it's bright outside. And so, like in order to get information, you suffer other attacks in terms of your own pace and your own rhythm to get that information also. 

Steven Parton [00:12:38] Potentially dangerous because that moment you look away might be the moment a car comes to an intersection or something. 

David Rose [00:12:45] Right. Exactly. So this is just this is a nice kind of secondary view. That's a heads up display for that for that kind of information. And it's not for not for you to, like, take to the party and when you interact with other people. But it's, you know, when you're when you're running, you're I have a pair of swim goggles that also have air and one in one eye. And I think that's a great use case because it's really hard to get that information otherwise about what your heart rate is and what your what your stroke rate is. But if you're swimming, you're like you. You would love more information. Yeah. 

Steven Parton [00:13:20] Well, you mentioned the museum briefly earlier, but like, what are some of the most readily accessible industries and uses that you think this technology will enter into? Where do you think we'll see it first? 

David Rose [00:13:34] Yeah, well, in the book, I kind of walk through nine different use cases for for air, and they're kind of in the order of kind of sophistication and also adoption. So the first one is the first chapter's just called identified. So it's just this use case of like, would you like to know the name of everyone around you? You know, yes or no. Would you like to know the name of trees and plants and bugs and the products that you work with? The next one really talks about kind of turning cameras back on ourselves so that we see ourselves and are able to interpret what we're doing in a new way. So this is like the Lululemon mirror or situations where like sports, where we're using this what I call super site, which is kind of computer vision with some coaching to help people kind of see themselves and interpret what they're doing in a new way. I'm a big downhill skier and not that great, but I did a project with Bodie Miller, who's an Olympian, and he said, you know, we could use pose detection to like put you side by side with an Olympic skier or a much better skier and be able to help you understand how to how to balance your weight and how to carve better. So that's kind of an example of in chapter two of kind of being understood by this technology in a new way. And I think the third one, which we used at Warby Parker was, you know, the third chapter's called styled. So it's really thinking about how to use these computer vision systems to measure you, like measure your face, your pupillary distance, and then let you see yourself in a new way with the kind of AI that we're just starting to see in terms of Dolly and Mid Journey, which is generative eye. So you're seeing like this guy has an opinion about how you look with that new watch or those glasses or or whatever you're wearing. And so I think we're it's kind of an uncanny place for AI to be where you think, wow, is that is that the job of Amazon to judge? You know, how I look in my outfit this morning. But that's definitely where the AI has come. 

Steven Parton [00:15:59] Yeah. It seems like there's so many potentials. I mean, it's it's almost too many. I mean, for one thing, when you're talking about skiing, I'm thinking if you have a haptic suit and you're doing a sport, you can have posture detection fed to the the air and then it can show you how to move your body. And then walking around the world, you're talking about daily and mid journey. Seems to me that you could skin or layer your reality with a different, you know, say, I want my world to look Picasso like today. And that's the prop that you give it. And then you get a general AI and 20 seconds that filters everything through that. I mean, are these things that you see as directions we might be going with this? 

David Rose [00:16:41] Well, I do think. For for the product world who is trying to allow you is trying to inspire you to make purchase decisions. Certainly like the furniture companies are the interior design companies, companies that sell window treatments and paints. You know, all all of those companies are really excited about this technology because they really solve this kind of crisis of imagination that most, most consumers have, which is like you just you can't see it, right? You can't you can't imagine what your living room is going to look like with a fresh coat of paint or with different furniture around you or with new glasses or with, you know, anything else. And actually, I think the the bigger the product or the more it's arranged as a diversity of products, the harder it is to imagine. So, you know, the reason that you hire a wedding planner is because you just can't see like, well, what is it going to feel like in this place with all of those people and all of those chairs and all of the, you know, cakes and kids and dogs and cats and whatever, whatever. So you hire interior designers or landscape architects who do have that skill to kind of imagine what these things look like. But that's I'm actually working on a project right now with Landscape Design Company, and it's really for imagining people's outdoor spaces and you know, with, with, with a bunch of things that they can't really fathom and in their mind's eye. But if you they hold up their phone and they see here's to new shade trees, which you really need, and they're going to cut down on your on your air conditioning. And and here's like some beautiful garden borders and here's an edible garden in the sunniest spot on the on the landscape. And here's a little arrangement of chairs around a firepit. And, you know, being able to see this collection of landscape lighting and furniture and trees and bushes and a birdbath, too. People love it. And they just, you know, they can't they kind of can't imagine that they didn't have some something that looked better before. So there's a real opportunity for, you know, a Lowe's Home Depot, you know, all the companies that sell that stuff to promote these virtual try on 3D configurator cars that know something about the world around you, too. Like they've got the measurements. 

Steven Parton [00:19:22] Yeah. And I hate to undermine this idea of the beautification of the world around you and streamline imagination, but when you talk about that, my brain also jumps to consumerism in this space and starts thinking of advertising and the current models that we use to fund most of our technology. Do you worry about that becoming a paradigm where it's like, Yeah, you can use the subscription version which has no ads in your vision, or you can use the free version that has an ad every 30 seconds or, you know, it feels like we're not doing a great job right now navigating the consumer. I would say maybe surveillance capitalism and consumer marketing inside our products, our most advanced products. So do you worry about that? 

David Rose [00:20:08] I do. I mean, I, I try to spin my worry as towards kind of thinking about what new ad formats might be possible that feel more like product placements rather than obnoxious ads. Because I think we just won't stand for a lot of the obnoxiousness and we'll choose other will choose other options if it's really abhorrent to to us. But I do think there will be no previous realizations of things that you will like and that you will find interesting or, you know, just think about how if you go to a city where you haven't been before, you there's an issue of language, there's an issue of navigation, there's an issue of like how to organize your time. And if all of those might involve money and spending money. But if those are presented in a way that, you know, really feels like a service, like I'm not, do you call that advertising or do you just call that, you know, do you call that a service? So I'd love somebody to kind of walk me, you know, walk me through a new a new city, a new situation, recommend things that I would like to eat or to people that I would like to interact with. And that feels like a service. 

Steven Parton [00:21:29] Yeah. Yeah. Your your previous book, I think it was in 2015, dealt with the idea of enchanted objects, this idea of kind of bringing our objects to life in a sense with technology. Do you think that that's going to. Be a paradigm that mixes with this that will see the two kind of having a complementary relationship. 

David Rose [00:21:50] Yeah, that's a great question. One of the enchanted objects, so enchanted objects is a term that I invented, kind of just to think about how you could animate and kind of infuse animism into everyday things, you know, whether it's soccer balls and tennis rackets or, uh, or pill caps and coffee tables. And I think, you know, I had a company called Vitality that made Internet connected medication packaging for people that really need to take medications faithfully. And I think if I were making that product today, rather than making it like a Bluetooth thing that connects with a 3G modem that looks like a nightlight in order to get data to the cloud, I would probably find some way of using projection rather than having to having a lot of tech in the object itself. So I would do like a Pico projector that you stick in to your, you know, in your bathroom or in your kitchen or wherever it is. It could see the world around you. It could mesh the world around you and then project information in order to attract your attention to the things that require your attention. So it could be a lot more of a general purpose projection mapping kind of product. I'm actually surprised that Google and Amazon, with all of their kind of home hubs that are trying to be sprinkled around your life, that they that they don't use more projection because like that term, I would rather have little data projectors in my, you know, in wherever you plug in an Edison mount, you know, lights. And that's I think that's kind of the future of interface is not not only the glasses that will wear that will blend information with the world, but also using data projection in a way that kind of brings you back to this notion of calm computing. 

Steven Parton [00:23:55] Yeah. And do you see in that movement towards that direction that we might see a reduction in maybe our use of physical resources? You know, at Singularity, one of our big things is like trying to figure out how to solve some of the big problems in the world. And I would say one of those things is a waste. You know, a lot of things that we just end up in trash dumps in heaps around the world and, you know, can't really be recycled. It seems like to me one of the great benefits or opportunities that exist in this space is that if you don't need to create a physical object because you can create the virtual object, there's a lot of reduction and and creating things. We don't really need saving resources, saving space and a lot of things like that. 

David Rose [00:24:37] Yeah, I really like that idea and I think that, I think that is possible to, you know, not everything will need little batteries and recharging and wireless connections. Instead, you can kind of have the intelligence built into the environment and distributed around. I don't know. I've been thinking a lot about about face recognition just in the last week and wondering, you know, it's really perceived as as this kind of evil in terms of technology that can have this sentinel, you know, knowing exactly who is where and whether they're vaccinated or whatever. Sick Um, but I was talking to a friend who is in charge of face recognition for a, a company in Central Square in Cambridge and they're called wicked. I think we're wicked like not wicked and they're doing face reco for event venues. So and he made the case to me that there's actually two good reasons that an event venue would want to do face reco. One is just you can have more people passing through the turnstile or the whatever the entrance is faster so you can get people into the stadium much more efficiently so you don't actually have a a risk of people gathering in an unsecured place outside of Fenway or wherever or the or the garden. And the other reason that that there's a good business model for that, not only a security issue, is you get people in earlier and they start eating and drinking faster. So so the venue kind of has a built in business model for that. But but if it's just if it's just a ticketing system, does that feel evil to you? I guess it all depends upon how whether that is it's possible to be hacked or shared or whether that data. It's possible to share that data. 

Steven Parton [00:26:38] Yeah. I mean, given the current culture that you. Kind of alluded to there, especially with some of the regulations that I think are coming out of Europe in terms of data privacy. Do you see a lot of pushback against some of the directions this is going? Because there's a lot of people it feels like you are not ready to embrace this technology. You know, they're not at MIT playing in the Media Lab, getting excited about this stuff. They're. Out in the real world, really concerned about the things you talked about, which is like vaccine passports and having their privacy intruded. You know, maybe even being manipulated in terms of how they vote for an election or something. Like, do you think we're ready for this, this kind of technology? 

David Rose [00:27:19] Yeah. In the book, I have the section I try to sprinkle kind of what I call the the hazards of super site throughout the book. And in the last part of the book, I have this diagram that tries to say, here are the big six problems that we have to worry about and what we might do about each one. So I'm trying to be kind of not only alarmist, but also have some perspective on how to help. But, you know, I think the six are social insulation, so we'll have more kind of bubble filter problems. Another one is state surveillance. Another one is cognitive crutches. So as you as we kind of use new tools, I kind of think gipsies and calculators and even now daily or mid journey like how will that how will that be a new prosthetic that we come to rely on? And then we lose all of our painting and illustration skills because we have these kind of amazing, stable diffusion models or whatever, whatever the generative tech, generative AI tech is. So that's kind of the third problem is cognitive crutches. Another one is the the advertising problem before kind of I call it pervasive persuasion, which certainly influences the business models. Another one is training bias in the data where we're just not given the right advice or good advice. And then the other one is equity and access issues, which I call super sight for some, which I think the way out of the equity in access issues is actually through the business model of advertising. You know, by the way, you know, the way that you get free email is, you know, for everyone is that you're kind of willing to sacrifice some amount of. You know, awareness on these advertising platforms to know more about us. But still, that subsidizes and I think will subsidize the cost of these devices in our homes. 

Steven Parton [00:29:20] Yeah, your first point there, I think you said it was social isolation. That is, I think, a problem that is increasingly worrisome in terms of how we adopt tech and especially around COVID and the lockdowns. And you know that Durkheim, the great social sociologist, talks, you know, a lot about how dangerous loneliness is to our health. Can you say a little bit more about how that relationship between augmented reality and loneliness is that plays together? 

David Rose [00:29:52] Yeah. So I mean, think about when you're in public places now, most people are wearing headphones. And so it's kind of like it's harder to have a conversation with somebody if they're if they have blinders on their ears, if you will, you know. Right. So I think that kind of acoustic isolation that we're all choosing will become even more acute and and problematic if most of us are wearing glasses that are showing us something different about the world in front of us. So, of course, it's going to be a personalized view. And of course you're going to have a different set of layers or lenses or whatever the metaphor is. So it will mean that we won't have the same view of the world in front of the front of us. So we won't be able to kind of remark about, you know, the the history of of that church or the of the event that was here last summer or whatever, because those are just the layers that you choose, not the layers that I choose to see. I do feel like there's a design opportunity here for how do we swap personalized views or sync personalized views in order to be able to have those richer conversations that happen. Because I can now see through your eyes and you can see through my eyes. So I do feel like it's it may be actually an opportunity, not just a social isolation, although I would have said that to Bose when we were talking to Bose a few years ago when I was at Idaho about opportunities for headphones would be like multi broadcast, like everyone, what is it called when you have the rave and like everyone's wearing. 

Steven Parton [00:31:41] Silent. 

David Rose [00:31:42] Disco. Silent disco, yeah. Why aren't there more silent disco opportunities to, like, tap in when you, like, walk into the coffee shop and you tap your headphones on a thing and now everyone's listening to the same whatever it is I kind of want. I want a world where we can kind of share and have similar media experiences. There's a name for this with Netflix, right? Where you can have like a Netflix party, like where you can just decide that, like, let's all sync up and be watching the same thing. Watch party. Yeah. 

Steven Parton [00:32:11] Yeah. If only we weren't also busy, right? And working on our own projects had time for that. But I mean, I know we're talking kind of more in the future with that, but. As techno optimistic as I am. When I think about kind of the ways in which. Things like social media have created echo chambers and what Robert Anton Wilson would call reality tunnels, where people's understanding of reality is, is literally, you know, specific to them and they can't see outside of it. And it feels like that's moving us towards a place where we don't have consensus reality, where there's more polarization, because now we don't have a common ground to find harmony on. I mean, do you do you see that as a thing that's going to happen? You kind of alluded to it there. But I mean, it feels like you're saying we could see in our world differently and maybe create different truths within that. And that seems very divisive. 

David Rose [00:33:08] Yeah, I'm really concerned about that. I mean, but in the same way, in the same way that we're able to quickly swap avatars and skins and views of the world, we can also decide to share those things. 

Steven Parton [00:33:23] Where it feels like you're alluding to something like an empathy machine. So I can put on David Rose colored glasses, so to speak, which you've had to had that joke before. 

David Rose [00:33:35] Now, I do think Empathy Machine is, is a it's a nice metaphor. I think it also allows us to this technology will allow us to kind of more quickly toggle between other people's points of view and and historical points of view. I mean, I'm also hopeful that we can toggle also kind of in and out of work and in and out of family situations with more kind of dexterity and fast switching. So, you know, in the same way that remember and in the earlier days of mobile phones, we had these kind of long intro and long outros to our felt like, okay, nice to talk to you. I'll see you later. Now, with the availability of being able to talk to anybody at any time now, we just kind of jump on the phone. There's no intro. There's no like you just say, got to go and you hang up because you might call them back 3 minutes later. I think that kind of context switching will be really the norm where you can really be in a couple of places doing a couple of things at any time. So in the same way that we're able to kind of like talk to a friend while walking through the grocery store, you'll be able to be beyond work and maybe not at work, but you'll be kind of on work as you're moving your body through the world or in conversations with multiple kind of holograms, people composited into the scene at any one time. And I think we'll just see a lot of science fiction kind of alludes to these kind of futures where, you know, you're kind of like beam in and out of situations with a lot more rapidity. 

Steven Parton [00:35:17] Yeah, I think that speaks to your your number three point maybe. But in terms of of living between those two worlds, do you think we'll find ourselves in some sort of like cognitive dissonance, almost like, I guess, you know, with your study of vision, with your study of these technologies, how able do you think the human brain is capable of living in these two different worlds simultaneously? 

David Rose [00:35:40] I think it's an aptitude. I think in the same way that gamers are able to kind of be doing multiple things at multiple times, like it's kind of it's a way that our brains will change in order to kind of handle multiple streams at the state at the same time or toggle quickly. I mean, there are a lot of people that write about the efficiency losses that happen when you when you mode switch or context switch. But I think at the same time that that may be true, like we're also just getting better at it. So we're just we are doing that more. And I have real hope for kind of the inverse of augmented reality, which is diminished reality and the ability to kind of take a scene, have an AI that kind of decides what's the intention now that you have and what are the things that we should obfuscate or blur or not show you? I mean, a kind of classic one for this is like shopping in a grocery store with somebody who's, you know, gluten intolerance. You don't even want to see the options for the things that you shouldn't be picking up. So, yeah, like, thank you. Like, please hide all of the things that would be a bad choice right now. But if you generalize that, there's probably a set of choices about, you know, when interacting with a group of people at a conference or going through a bookstore or, you know, there's kind of the opportunity for personalization of how you see in many situations that could could contribute to a calmer. Kind of way of moving through the world. And then you just worry that like is your are making the right decisions for what should be, what should be blurred out. Mhm. Did you see that Black Mirror episode where he is blocked by his, his ex spouse and yeah. She, she becomes fuzzy and all the photographs are too scary. 

Steven Parton [00:37:42] Right. It's kind of a black mirror is good at making you afraid of what's to come.

David Rose [00:37:46] But it would also be incredible kind of to, to, to who's who's the Kondo eyes? WOMAN Marie Kondo. Oh, shit. Oh, she's she's the one who's like, simplify, simplify, like, make your make your space look like a Japanese ryokan like, you know, take away anything that might distract you. So like the books in the background that you have right there, like all of those would just kind of disappear if you didn't need to tune in to any of them. And so you'd have a you feel much calmer with your with your day. 

Steven Parton [00:38:21] Maybe. I like the stimulus that they provide. I like that they make me think about random things. I kind of thrive in chaos. You know, one of the things where I guess a lot of what we're talking about here is feels pretty sci fi, feels pretty radical. But just this last week, GPT three chat came out, you know, to the general public and the the amount of things that people are realizing that it's capable of is terrifying, mostly just in that its capabilities are profound. Like it's going to probably change things very quickly more than we could have expected. This feels like it could potentially be one of those same things. Do you think it is? And I mean, do you feel like it's going to be something that we gradually leave it up to a little bit for a while? You know, people heard the word GPT three, they heard that phrase. And then all of a sudden it's like, oh, wow, this is going to change the world. Are we are we answering the same thing with air and with this idea of super site? 

David Rose [00:39:26] Yeah. I think we've seen like generative, generative networks for, for, for creating arts and design and landscapes and lighting situations like that has been like the biggest story I think of the year. I'm, I'm excited about text too, but I'm a visual person and so I get kind of more excited about eyes that are able to be artists and poster designers and interior designers more than I am about people able to be kind of like writing, marketing, prose or whatever they're or stories. So I don't know. Have you played around with Mid Journey or some of the other ones? 

Steven Parton [00:40:10] It's very fun. It's very fun. 

David Rose [00:40:13] Yeah. It's just it's amazing to to have that much kind of art direction and it almost feels like creativity, doesn't it? Like you were you are now the art director and you can you're picking generations of or options to generative to decide which designs live on to the next and iterate forward and like it's that I think is a really fun way to to pick options and that's just it's so different than working then typically working with, I mean if you're a product designer or if you've worked with an architect before, like each iteration is like, oh my gosh, like hours or weeks in order to and, and sometimes many, many hundreds, thousands of dollars in order to have somebody kind of take something and and do an iteration. And now, like, every iteration feels like it's less than a minute and almost has no cost except for your time to wait for another generation to to happen. 

Steven Parton [00:41:21] Well, and to that point, I mean, a lot of what you deal with is the idea of disruption. And you're also an entrepreneur. So when you see something like this coming down the line that, you know, a lot of my artist friends are terrified because those iterations that took weeks that you're talking about was how they made a living.

David Rose [00:41:39] Right. Right. 

Steven Parton [00:41:40] So so this is a very disruptive tech and their world. So as somebody who makes businesses in these kind of disruptive spaces, how do you how do you navigate this? How do you how do you how do you kind of keep yourself grounded among this blur of change? 

David Rose [00:42:00] Well, the question I always ask is what will be the effects like kind of secondary effects on our culture of this kind of tech? And I think the one of the most exciting things like take go back to Guitar Hero like that, that taught millions and millions of people that they could learn an instrument, kind of quote, an instrument they could feel the rush of like stepping on stage and riffing with other people. And so it like it didn't teach them how to play guitar directly, but it kind of gave them in inverted this learning curve so that they kind of felt confident about that. And I feel like with with GPT three, like it's kind of more people will will be editors now not not the writers maybe but they will edit the things that the the A's are writing or with mid journey and Dolly three to sorry they will be kind of more comfortable making judgments about design and feel like more dexterity and more confidence, you know, creative confidence and saying like, well, I kind of like that, but I'd like it to be a different way. And for me, like that is if we all had like 3D sewing machines that could generate any outfit we wanted for free, like, think about what that would do to fashion, right? Like, we wouldn't both be wearing boring clothes. Like we're wearing boring clothes right now. We would like. We would come with more. With more. Kind of creative confidence about wanting to peacock and and and parrots and you know have. Have more creative expression in terms of how we appear. And I think like face filters are kind of doing that right now. Right. Most people are like, I want to appear like this. Like I want eyelashes that are, you know, 12 inches long and flowy, like, why not? Right. And so I feel like these tools are really changing our feeling of confidence and our ability to kind of wander into new fields that used to be just the people who could paint and just the people that were trained at costume design and just the people that were trained in makeup. And now we're like, Come on, like those. To me, that makes the world those tools in the same way that like, I feel like I'm a game designer and a 3D designer and like I wasn't trained as either of those things. But I think with these crazy new tools, we can start to tinker and feel some confidence about those categories. 

Steven Parton [00:44:38] Yeah. So in a way, it sounds like you you kind of feel like it may take away some of the a lead ism or the closed garden aspect of, you know, these really talented artists and help inspire the masses much more. 

David Rose [00:44:52] Yeah, I think about like what what is quantified self and Wikipedia done to the medical profession. Like I grew up with a dad who was a doctor who had like a complicated way of saying everything and is like, well, I'll tell you what's happening there. And now we're like, we go into the doctor and we're like, Look, we've Googled this. Like, I can tell you what my sleep patterns are more than you can tell me what my sleep patterns are. I can tell you what my medication adherence is like. I know a lot more about what I'm doing on a daily basis, and it's really changed the profession of being a doctor and I think in a good way. 

Steven Parton [00:45:24] Yeah. So it's kind of like spreading out the creativity instead of it being honed to a small group, it gets maybe diluted, right? 

David Rose [00:45:31] It totally democratizes things. And I do feel like if you like, just take the landscape design idea, like if you have a generative AI that's showing you an amazing outdoor space and so you start spending more time outside and spending more money outside and maybe growing your own food. You're much more likely, actually, I believe, to hire a pro now that you've kind of become tuned into the category. And now you're like, Oh, wow, there's some things that I don't know the answer to. Like, I really like, I want to consult, you know, somebody who is really brilliant at this. And so I, I think it could draw attention to fields that are that were once just not on people's radar before. 

Steven Parton [00:46:14] Yeah. And then it sounds like there's still room for mastery. So the people who are really passionate about these things often feel like they're getting replaced because they can still be those consultants and those editors that you spoke of. 

David Rose [00:46:25] Yeah, I mean, playing around playing around with mid journey makes me more likely to want to buy a painting from a real person because I've just been, like, staring at paintings a lot. 

Steven Parton [00:46:35] It's very inspiring. I mean, as somebody who has no visual talent whatsoever and is a man of words, being able to play with these technologies and generate these images has been very inspired. 

David Rose [00:46:48] I think it's happened with cooking, too, right? Like as we have more, more, more tools for giving us creative confidence in the kitchen like that, more people are buying. More pan sets and more knives and more more things for poaching eggs. And we'd all like more kind of specialty tools as, as we have more assistance in that category. 

Steven Parton [00:47:14] Yeah, I like that idea a lot that increase in confidence. Well, David, it feels like we are running up on our time here. So I'm going to I'm going to let you kind of have these last minutes to maybe just paint a picture of the future where we're going, give us some closing thoughts. You know, kind of lay out anything you'd like people to know before before we call it quits here. 

David Rose [00:47:34] Sure. Well, I feel like the the ninth chapter of the book really tries to paint this picture of like, well, at the end of the day, if we can all see anything at any time, like what is it as a species that we really need to see? Like what? In what direction we do. We need to involve evolve. Like, do we need to see our prey better? Like an owl or a hawk? Like, no, we probably can see that McDonald's and that, you know, we can see we can shop and and we don't have an acuity issue when it comes to eat eating. But I do think we have a myopia problem when it comes to seeing the future. So I think we're really bad at understanding the consequences of the of what we eat or plant what the planet's going to look like if we don't change our behavior or how a how a city could look different if it prioritized pedestrians versus cars. Like, those are just things that we're all a little bit myopic about. And my hope is that super sight gives us this kind of imagination engine that will help us, you know, just by holding up our phones or by putting on glasses, kind of see futures that are more desirable. And then that can kind of build a conversation and build a consensus and help us to prioritize our resources and time on kind of making it so. 

Steven Parton [00:49:02] Perfect. I love that. What a nice optimistic note to end on. David, thank you so much for your time and I really appreciate it. 

David Rose [00:49:08] Thanks, Steve, and good conversation. 


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