BBC newsnight gets deeper into our virtual personas

Well its just a few minutes, but we have IBM, Hursley and IQ on the television with Paul Mason of newsnight.
Its available to watch here first it the article marked virtual death
****Update You can also read it here and part 2 here
The piece is aiming at delving deeper into who we are online.
There are actually more frames of my 3d print than of me, but thats not a bad thing.
So we get the real Hursley build and Yossarians virtual one on the telebox.
So from about 7mins 20 to 9mins 15 you get to see some other IBM virtual stars and lots of shots of the real fabjectory printed version of the virtual me.

This entry was posted in Hursley, Second Life by epredator. Bookmark the permalink.

About epredator

Director of metaverse and emerging tech consultancy Former IBM Consulting IT Specialist with 18 years at the company Games player epredator xbox live tag. epredator potato in second life

18 thoughts on “BBC newsnight gets deeper into our virtual personas

  1. You beat me to it to this post by about 10 minutes while my machine rebooted 🙂

    See what happens when epredator takes out his guitar? We didn’t look all that business-like, did we?

    Nice to see the Fabjectory work on camera.

  2. As a scientist, I can only begin to question my own sanity because I thought that was profound 🙂

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  4. I’m in Los Angeles and was able to view it just fine. It was very low resolution though.

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  6. I did my best to get as much as possible in but there is only so much cyberspace Newsnight will let me show. Hope you are all well in RL. The only way to get BBC to publish in broadband outside UK would be to privatise it!

  7. Ian – I was at Hursley just recently and heard about your interest in second life, so I was most surprised to see what you were doing only a couple of weeks later on Newsnight! Perhaps on a subsequent visit I might be able to touch base with you and chat about what you have been doing.

    I am interested to know if such environments might be valuable alternatives for virtual meetings, rather than sitting on the end of a telephone conference call or typing into a text window. Do such environments make virtual meetings richer and more realistic? Taking some of the themes in the programme, perhaps they might even allow us to do additional things that are not possible in the real world, like taking someone by the hand and flying them over a 3D representation of some data?

    Can you use these environments to effectively point/refer to sub-picture elements – contained in pictures, diagrams, presentations, video etc. for meetings and teaching etc.?

    Finally, are there decent alternatives to secondlife, that allow you to construct your own worlds in a way that is not beholden to the secondlife server system? One of the options might be to allow worlds to be constructed in a distributed fashion, so the environment is constructed out of a patchwork quilt of servers, each holding a part. I have searched for open source alternatives myself, but the impression I have formed is that progress is either slow or has come to a halt.

    It seems that such environments might have some interesting implications for future social interaction, but personally I would rather see such environments in community hands rather than being owned and controlled by a few commercial suppliers.

  8. Paul, thankyou for a great piece on the TV/web it has got many people thinking more deeply about what is going on
    Peter, I am happy to have a chat on your next visit.
    The metaverse is indeed an ideal place for meetings. The non verbal communication that is proxied such as where you stand, how close, seating postion etc are all interesting additions. You also have the extra set of expressive gestures. As I point out we all put smileys in instant messages and emails. SL and alike enhances that greatly. Also the dynamics of a meeting are more like RL see this
    We have been looking at data representation see this entry
    Being able to point at things, rez objects on the fly to demonstrate etc all seem to work. We have a number of people focussed on education in the metaverse. Whats works, what dos not, whats new.
    The concept of a metaverse container, run on distributed owened servers is certainly one the industry will see in the future. Linden Labs have just a few days ago started with open sourcing the client.
    I think that the more philanthropic aims of Seocnd Life to reach and be controlled by the community are an atttraction. If you watch Paul’s other piece on the newsnight geek 2.0 site he has an interview with Philip Rosedale/Linden this whole take up is based around people wanting to do things and to create. It is true there has to be business in there aswell to order for it to be feasible. Linden have always stated an intent to be more open source. If you imagine this time last year there were less than 80k registered users they have caught and caused a massive wave of interest which was bound to happen, but no one knew when.
    So now a metaverse industry is emerging, and just as the traditional web grew and became more distributed, with competing platforms conforming to open standards, or exhibiting interoperability I am sure we will see that happening in the years to come.
    The important thing, and something that Paul has done in his piece, is to understand its putting people back into the technology. Its the human needs and human spirit that is making this more engaging for people. It is more accessible to non tech geeks, and has a creative flow, rather than the more tradtional game style destructive flow.
    It also has a way to go yet, its taken a good few years for the net to get to where we are today such that you and I can talk via a blog such as this.
    10 years time, well who knows 🙂

  9. epredator – thanks for the extensive response and the offer to chat.

    I followed your two links. In relation to the first, yes I agree with the comments about telecons, I too find them cold, stilted and difficult to deal with. I much prefer vtc, but its too expensive in equipment and network load…and has a number of limitations such as being “tied” to the camera position. I also agree with the observations about informal interactions at the end of meetings. The data representation looks interesting, but is obviously only one of many potential ones (currently being limited to nodes and links).

    I was travelling back home from London on the train today and opened my December IET magazine, and guess what was in it?…an article called “Another World” written by Chris Edwards on Second Life!!! The article raises a number of issues and certainly stimulated some futher questions.

    First he describes a sound of “tappity tap” of someone typing at a keyboard and a message appearing. I have used 3D virtual worlds before, Microsoft used to have one available for example. However, having still not tried second life ‘for real’ yet (maybe this weekend) – I am making some assumptions. Presumably we are still limited to text input? If this is the case, has anyone thought of being able to speak into your avatar, such that a sound ‘field’ is modelled and generated around your avatar, such that those within a certain distance in the virtual world can hear what you are saying. In fact all of those within that distance can hear, allowing multi-party converations, even when you may not be facing the right direction. Server and comms loading problems again?

    The articles talks about the problem of too many people brining their own scripts with them and slowing down the servers as a result, and that requests have been made for people not the bring those. Is there not an architectural solution to this problem, again based on the notion of distribution to share more of the computational load?

    The article also raised the same question that I did, i.e. can you import “applications” or application outputs, into the virtual world? sufficient quality that they are legible to others in the virtual world?

    There is a query about the value of avatars, and that syncrhonous collaboration spaces based on text may be sufficient, but then goes on to say that virtual conferences can be better than physical ones.

    There is a suggestion that, as virtual worlds take hold in business there will be concerns about scalability and security. e.g. is someone sneaking in on your meetings to steal your ideas/IPR (I guess this also raises an issue about the potential for ‘virtual identity’ theft).

    The article finishes on a positive note, describing multiverses, suggesting that though increasing use, people may find the ‘killer apps’ and that we will find many more uses for them than just entertainment.

  10. It was good to meet in SL the other night. That was a late one again wasn’t it Peter ?
    I am guessing now that you have experienced the answers to the first part of the comment. Yes, its all text at the moment, and there is the notion of proximity in conversations.

    The problems of scripts and load are a complicated one. How and where to distribute the load and architectural considerations as well as social ones come into focus here. e.g. If you presence creates a greater load at a large event is it ok to be asked to de-prim and run less scripts for the benefit of others?
    This is highlighted somewhat in Snowcrash (the definitive novel on the subject of the metaverse) Avatars of people with cheaper equipment are less well represented. Which sort of hints at more distributed processing. The second life terrain is reffered to as a grid, however I am sure as we progress the more distributed nature of grid computing can be brought to the metaverse.
    You can certainly make requests to and from the ‘real’ web world to get at applications. There are some considerations such as the fact the Linden Server is making the request so the http server responding has to be visible to that.
    Avatars are a richer version of the current awareness we have in an online world. Obviously in real life if we are there people see us. Online we are starting to see ‘n users online’ or friends lists with pictures on instant messages. In some respects, travel, cost etc virtual conference will start to be better than RL. However…. we are still human and still crave real interaction. It will be a while before the virtual is indistinguishable from the real.
    Security is certainly a concern too, but like any online collaborative environment that is a consideration. The way around that is totally private areas, firewalls, counter measures. Just as in real life.
    I think finally that already this is more than just entertainment, my draw to this was, as a gsmer, it did not fulfil my gaming needs. So therefore that meant, to me, there was something else happening. What that something else was and what applications might arise is why is was so interesting.

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  13. Sitting with the doctors in a room and talking with other doctors via video conferencing was very exciting for me when I first time sat for a meeting. I first felt like a movie going on until when one of the doctors asked me for my comments. It was really weird and exciting.

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