04.25.2018
Posted by Kristy Green
Filed Under Digital
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Designing For New Realities

What does it mean to design for “New Realities”?

Astro’s Creative Director, Norio Fujikawa, tackled that question during a panel discussion at General Assembly this week.

Joined by leaders from the frontline of design: Claude Zellweger, Director of Design at Google, Matt Stern, Founder/COO of Mira, Rachael Stefanussen, Strategic Designer at Formation, and moderated by Astro’s Director of Insights, Andrew Casden, the group dug into some of the most pressing questions around AR, VR, AI, machine learning and implications of these “new realities”.

“The question isn’t if it goes mainstream, the question is when”, said Zellweger.

Topics included an analysis of current experiences, use cases for these technologies as well as social responsibility both near and long term. They all agreed that while there have been some dystopian depictions in media, there are numerous opportunities to use these tools for good to truly help humans increase their social connection, be exposed to new cultures/experiences and to expand educational environments.

On machine learning, we've just begun to scratch the surface with Stefanussen noting, “We will begin to see patterns [in behavior] that humans can’t identify.” Stern added that he doesn’t currently think about it as ‘AI’ (Artificial Intelligence), “it should be flipped to IA…Intelligence Augmented”.

The group concluded that designers continue to have the responsibility to advocate for the consumer and shape these “new realities” to have the end user’s best interest at the forefront of all development. “We are ultimately responsible for that human touch element,” said Fujikawa.

A big thank you to the panelists, and to General Assembly for hosting!

Check out some of Astro’s work in this space: Mira Prism, HTC Vive, Orah 4i camera. And email kristy@astrostudios.com to continue to the conversation.