When you think about what goes into creating a physical product, service, or media, there's usually a map that plots a straight line between something of value and how a customer experiences it. A map could be an instruction guide or tutorial, the particular format doesn't matter as much as the purpose: to enable someone to orient herself to the product or service and find the optimal route to value.
But what if we start adding intelligence to the mix? What if our product, or service, or media learns about an individual user and adjusts its operation or behavior? Now, you're not talking about providing a person with a map to value so much as you're giving her a compass, which is a far more flexible tool, but one that requires her to employ creativity and autonomy to discover her unique path to value.
As we embed the real world and our won bodies with sensors and beacons, offer augmented and virtual reality experiences, populate our daily lives with chatbots, virtual assistants and robots, our ability to draw a map with a single optimal path to value becomes much more difficult. At the same time, just because you give a person a compass doesn't mean they won't get lost. There needs to be a blend between creating the useful signposts and directional arrows we find from maps with the ability to navigate around obstacles or discover short cuts like using a compass.
The video game industry has understood this delicate balancing act between maps and compass since day one. It doesn't mean that all augmented products, services and media should behave like an interactive game. But it does follow that lessons learned from game experiences have a place in the design and support of AI-powered products and services.
To help understand what's applicable from the gaming world to AI-powered products & services, The Augmented City sat down with Matt McCloskey and Brent Friedman.