Artificial Intelligence (AI) & Extended Reality (XR): Exploring Their Limitless Potential
Post date :
Aug 28, 2023
The Rise of AI & XR in 2023
So far, 2023 has been a year of transformation for AI and XR: Apple released its mixed reality headset, Apple Vision Pro, and OpenAI released a generative AI platform called ChatGPT, which quickly became an international sensation, attracting 1 million users in its first five days.
Extended Reality (XR) and Artificial Intelligence (AI) will transform and shape how we communicate, work, and play. And the two together represent a powerful digital duo.
What is Artificial Intelligence (AI)?
McKinsey defines Artificial Intelligence as “a machine’s ability to perform the cognitive functions we usually associate with human minds such as perceiving, reasoning, learning, interacting with the environment and even exercising creativity.”
But It’s far from new. If you’ve ever used a customer service bot or chatted with Siri on your iPhone, you’ve interacted with AI. The difference in 2023 is that artificial intelligence is smarter and more accessible than ever before.
What is Extended Reality (XR)?
Extended Reality (XR) is an umbrella term for every immersive technology, including, virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR), and mixed reality (MR). It’s an immersive technology that blends the virtual and the real world into one seamless canvas, creating lifelike digital experiences. Users experience XR through screens or wearable technology like glasses or a headset.
VR headsets immerse users into a fully simulated digital environment, creating a 360-degree digital world with high-definition graphics and surround sound.
AR technology overlays digital objects onto the real world s so that users can interact with digital objects in their real physical space.
MR is a hybrid technology that allows you to interact with digital and real-world objects simultaneously.
Image source: Forbes
Two Technologies Are Better Than One: The Benefits of Combining XR and AI
Rapid advancements and industry applications in XR and AI have spurred innovation at a breakneck pace, capturing the attention of Silicon Valley’s most notable investors and fueling innovation at Meta, Google, and Apple.
Here are just a few ways XR and AI are joining forces to drive innovation.
Gaming: AI technology uses advanced algorithms to make VR gaming experiences feel lifelike, enabling voice control and generating hyper-realistic characters and objects.
Built-in deep learning mimics your gestures and facial expressions so your avatar can move and react in real-time.
Image source: CNET
Medical Data: Immersive surgical simulations powered by XR and AI help clinicians visualize medical images with detailed 3D structures and real-time feedback.
AI can analyze large amounts of medical data to help clinicians diagnose and treat patients. XR enhances the quality of remote care by providing patients and physicians with immersive spaces to meet and collaborate, regardless of physical location.
Image source: XR Today
Mental Illness: VR technology can facilitate virtual consultations and therapy sessions to cater to patients in remote or underserved areas. Practitioners can use AI to personalize therapeutic interventions for each user and treat a variety of mental illnesses.
VR headsets immerse patients in serene virtual environments that distract them from pain or anxiety. They also offer safe spaces for patients suffering from phobias or PTSD to respond to triggers and work through talk therapy.
Image source: Forbes
Remote Work: XR makes it possible for remote or hybrid teams to work in a fully immersive virtual space. Mixed-reality headsets like Apple Vision Pro don’t require physically controllers. Instead, they use AI to track users' eyes, hands, and voice for input. This allows remote workers to more seamlessly connect and collaborate with co-workers as if they were sharing the same space.
Image source: Apple
Law Enforcement: AI algorithms can study historical crime data to pinpoint patterns and trends that help law enforcement predict potential crime hotspots and solve investigations faster. AR and VR can also create lifelike training simulations that enable law enforcement personnel to hone their skills in a safe and easily-accessible environment.
The Future of XR and AI
XR and AI represent an exciting new era in technology. XR technology will become even more immersive, further blurring the boundary between the real world and the digital world.
The future of AI will focus on evolving Machine Learning (ML) and Deep Learning (DL).
Machine Learning: Machine learning can perform tasks without instruction by analyzing and relying on data patterns.
Deep Learning: Deep learning is an advanced version of machine learning that imitates the human brain by using artificial neural networks to gain large amounts of knowledge. Deep learning is what virtual assistants use to understand and interact with human speech.
Combining XR and AI opens up exciting possibilities for every industry from entertainment to education to healthcare, and beyond.
Image source: Forbes
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