Photo by Rene Bernal on Unsplash

Five Hero Principles for AI and Spatial Computing

Avi Bar-Zeev
9 min readJun 18, 2023


I gave a talk at the most recent AWE conference in Santa Clara on May 31st called “Hype or Hero: Separating Bullshit from Reality for XR, AI & The Metaverse.” The talk covers recent trends in AI, Metaverse and XR, focusing on what’s hype and what’s hero and which is best. Charlie Fink kindly included these in his AWE coverage.

Some folks have asked for more detail on the five hero principles, so read on for that. Here are the raw slides, or the full video if you prefer:

And here are the five hero principles covering XR, AI, etc… summarized:

1. Works only for the benefit of each person and with their informed consent

2. Creators should be able to make a living in a thriving ecosystem

3. Those who benefit the most from a thriving ecosystem should pay for it

4. Safety is non-negotiable

5. You can’t trust technology to solve anti-social human behavior

Let’s dive into each of these and how they connect at the end:

Principle 1

It must work only for the benefit of each person and with their informed consent

There are well-meaning activists arguing for transparency as a remedy for harmful tech. For example, any AI bot should declare itself as such. Any AI content must be clearly labeled. That’s certainly better than not doing so.

But think about all annoying the cookie popup “disclosures” where we wind up clicking ‘yes’ to make them go away. There’s transparency there too. But what good is it really doing when we get overwhelmed?

Imagine instead there was some kind of browser standard that let us configure our browsers to…



Avi Bar-Zeev

XR Pioneer (30+ years), started/helped projects at Microsoft (HoloLens), Apple, Amazon, Keyhole (Google Earth), Linden Lab (Second Life), Disney (VR), XR Guild