Kevin Kelly: 20 years later, mankind may open the “mirror world”

On December 27, the main forum of the 2021 Baidu Create Conference (AI Developers Conference) was opened in the Baidu Metaverse APP. Kevin Kelly, the founding editor-in-chief of “Wired” magazine, Internet thinker, and author of “Out of Control” and “Inevitable” He also airborne the Create conference as a special guest, and shared his views on the next generation Internet platform in Metaverse.

In Kevin Kelly’s view, mixed reality (MR), which mixes the real world with man-made things, will become the next-generation platform, which he calls the mirror world. The realization of the mirror world is more difficult than VR and Metaverse. Every user will become its builder, using the virtual world to map the real world together to draw a complete world map.

At the same time, Kevin Kelly also said that this process will take at least 20 years, and even 20 years later, humans may not be able to achieve his depiction of the mirror world. But its realization puts forward brand-new requirements for algorithms, chips, bandwidth and even business models. This also means that there will be countless opportunities in front of people, and it is now time to enter the game.

Kevin Kelly: 20 years later, mankind may open the "mirror world"

The following is the full text of Kevin Kelly’s speech:

Hello, Baidu Center! I’m Kevin Kelly, the author of “Out of Control” and a senior consultant for “Wired” magazine. I am honored to come to Creator City to share my views on the next generation platform.

I think mixed reality will become the next generation platform. We all know that virtual reality is actually a man-made space, but the next-generation platform is a hybrid space. Mixing the real world and man-made things is sometimes called MR. When you walk into virtual reality, you will have an immersive feeling, which we call immersion, and you will feel like you are there.

In mixed reality, through smart glasses, you will see the real world and get a sense of existence, that is, the sense of existence of objects in this world. This is the main characteristic of this new platform: presence. I call this world the mirror world.

Compared with other virtual reality worlds and Metaverses, it is much more difficult to make a mirror world to gain a sense of existence. But if you can make a mirrored world, you can make VR and Metaverse, and vice versa. So the mirror world is a bigger platform. These concepts are very similar, using a wearable glasses to see the real world, which is superimposed with a virtual world composed of digital materials.

We can use it to do many things: we can design products while walking around, we can design buildings that can penetrate the human body, but we can see and feel the existence of virtual buildings in three-dimensional space. We can use it as a way of learning. This idea is that the real world is combined with the virtual world to form a new platform. Not only virtual, but also not only real, but a combination of real and virtual.

It provides us with multiple layers of information, which can be used for guidance, notification, entertainment, and in various ways to enhance our experience of the real world. The main task of technology is to draw a map of the complete world, forming a mirror world parallel to the real world.

You may ask: Who will draw this map? The answer is that we, users will also draw. When you put on the glasses, in order to see the virtual layer, you must map the real world. When you look back again, the screen will be remapped and updated. So every user will become the creator of this world and generate a map created by the user. All kinds of objects and structures, no matter how big or small, will have a digital twin and mirror image. This is their virtual version. And these mirror images will look very realistic.

This is also a shared world, which means that if I see or do something here, others will see it too. Any device can also be connected. Ideally, it can be viewed with smart glasses, but it can be seen by almost any device with a screen, including our mobile phones. And it is real-time viewing, things can be updated and moved in real time, we can interact with them in real time, in a sense it is dynamic.

Just as the simulation done when making movie special effects now actually simulates physical phenomena, when something truly falls or bounces, or the object is truly folded, the world will also have the same virtual physical and dynamic phenomena. . This means that its appearance, behavior, and actions are very realistic.

All parts of the world will eventually become part of it, and most importantly, real people will also be included. Therefore, we will have an avatar. We can track our gestures, movements, eyes and emotions through certain methods, and glasses will also be equipped with face-facing rear cameras, which will recognize human expressions and convey them to the avatar. Avatars may become more important social media than WeChat, because avatars will be a platform for us to interact with other people. Avatars will also become the most social product of all our virtual inventions.

Of course, in order for the avatar to work, the avatar must be cloud-based, which means that not only 5G is required, but also 6G, or even 10G. A large amount of bandwidth is required to ensure that real-time communication can capture, manipulate, and transmit all visual data, which is a huge project.

Therefore, the first-generation network has completed the digitization of all information, that is, all books, files and databases have been digitized, so that we can find, search and browse through algorithms and carry out secondary creation. The second-generation network realizes the digitization of interpersonal relationships and human behavior in social networks. We are now in the third generation of the Internet. In the end, we will realize the digitization of all remaining things, including all spaces, buildings, objects and the entire world.

This will be a radical change, meaning that the world itself will be affected by algorithmic search. We will discover, manipulate, and process places and objects as we process information. Therefore, one of the core attributes of the mirror world is machine readability, which lays the foundation for all future applications: to realize the machine readability of the world.

At the same time, the world has also become the world seen by robots and AI, so the self-driving car driving on the road also sees this mirrored world, that is, the real world is superimposed on the virtual world. We can see the real world, and we have the ability to see the virtual world. Therefore, some people call this new platform the Internet of Space. (Remarks: The original English text of Spatial Internet is spatial internet)

Spatial 3D Internet has three dimensional characteristics: volumetric location, presence and immersion, so it is a real world with spatial superimposed layers. We can split all content into the new real world through algorithms and digital processing technology. This is its power.

A large number of low-cost, ubiquitous artificial intelligence is necessary to make this world work. Observation, scanning, drawing, recognition, and display also require a lot of artificial intelligence. Without artificial intelligence, there is no mirror world, and there is no Metaverse. Therefore, artificial intelligence is the key to ensuring low cost, high efficiency, agility, and powerful performance. It is the engine that runs the world.

In addition, some of the artificial intelligence will run on smart phones, smart glasses and other devices, while a large number of artificial intelligence will run on the cloud. So I think that gestures and behaviors that require high-speed capture may be device-based, but rendering effects, world construction, and the presence of buildings will be operated by artificial intelligence in the cloud.

I think this is a 20-year project, and these 20 years have just begun. The things I’m discussing may not happen in another 20 years, but when it starts to happen, I believe it will first appear in workers and enterprises, and this will be the first place we see it. We will use it to train people, and to guide, correct and help people understand. These devices will run a simulation system, which helps us manage them.

We need new algorithms to process these very large numbers, and compression techniques in computer science will be necessary to make the above tasks feasible. We need new chips, we also need new bandwidth that cannot be achieved by existing technologies, and we also need new business models.

Therefore, there are countless opportunities in front of us, and we have not missed these opportunities. Thanks!

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