New frontiers of artificial intelligence

In our lab we’ve recently been working with the Lenovo Mirage Solo. It’s not officially out yet, but it’s available to play with if you have a research lab and Google likes you.

Unlike the GearVR or Daydream or Oculus Go, this is a true room-scale VR experience. When you move your head, it correctly adjusts your position in space.

Yet unlike the Vive or Oculus Rift, it is totally self-contained. The Mirage Solo uses the same sort of inside-out tracking technology as Google’s ARCore. Which is not surprising, since Google is the driving force behind this extremely cool headset.

We’ve been playing with it for several weeks now, building our VR projects to it, showing it to various and sundry visitors. And it has been working without a hitch — until today.

This morning we had a visit from a very high level executive at Facebook Oculus. Which, as you may know, is one of Google’s arch-rivals in the VR space.

One of our Ph.D. students trotted out our Mirage Solo, planning to use this nifty device to show our awesome VR content. And the headset didn’t work. It just flat out refused to function.

For the very first time since we got it, the Solo failed us. So now I am wondering.

Perhaps these fancy futuristic virtual reality devices possess a kind of advanced AI: They detect when you are about to show your cool demo to somebody from a rival company, and so they choose that exact moment to break down.

As our world becomes populated by ever more technologically advanced devices, this kind of strategically competitive dysfunction may very well be the new frontier of artificial intelligence. Or maybe I am overthinking this. 😉

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