Chapter 7. Avatars and Objects as Living Change Agents

This second wave of Augmented Reality (AR) is driven by a contextual understanding and interaction with your surroundings. Your environment becomes a mirror to your being, adapting to your needs. Your surroundings become attuned and responsive, delivering a personalized, relevant, and meaningful experience. AR is no longer just a layering atop reality, it now becomes a transformation of reality. This chapter looks at how avatars, intelligent agents, objects, and materials are becoming living contextual change agents: learning, growing, predicting, and shape-shifting in order to add value to daily life and extend our humanity in new ways.

The Ultimate Selfie

With the advancements today in AR and Artificial Intelligence (AI), we could be closer than ever to virtual human avatars that not only resemble us physically, but learn our behaviors and act on our behalf. “The ultimate selfie” is a concept from 2014 by artist, scientist, and Virtual Reality (VR) pioneer Dr. Jacquelyn Ford Morie.1 The Ultimate Selfie is a modern AI agent that learns how we behave as we use it, and it could even become a legacy we leave behind after our human life span. “If and when we get to the stage where we have avatars that learn from us while we use them, and can stand in as surrogates for us when we are not there, then why couldn’t they continue to exist after we are gone?” asks Dr. Morie. “Imagine our descendants talking to their ancestors, asking ...

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