Why do we Need an XR Guild?

Towards Ethical, Responsible and Trustworthy Spatial Computing

The XR Guild provides the resources, organization, mentorship, and a common set of ethical principles to professional members to help us all achieve the most ethical outcomes for our products and services — benefiting consumers, companies, and makers alike.

There are certainly other organizations working in the field of XR across 1) Public Outreach, 2) Policy & Regulation and 3) Open Standards, each working toward business and/or consumer goals. We add a strong fourth and bottom-up track.

  1. Ethical. It’s important to think through your values, state them clearly as design principles, and then really commit to them. The goal here is to be specific and inclusive enough in your principles that when you later encounter the really hard problems, your ethical principles can serve as guides. You will hopefully begin with past experience that tells you what to avoid. But if not, the Guild provides a set of ethical principles that are time-tested for best results.
  2. Responsible. Once you have your principles, do you stick to them? Or do you make arbitrary decisions based on pure expedience or lack of knowledge? Responsibility is about owning up to our own choices and not passing the buck.
  3. Trustworthy. Even if we’re Ethical and Responsible, we still need to evaluate how we did in the end. Being Trustworthy means taking the feedback, good and bad, and factoring that back into the process. Did we get some principles wrong? Hopefully not, but let’s be honest and fix them. Did we leave some people out of the solution? Let’s own up and address it. Trust comes from customers seeing us take responsibility for making the most ethical choices. It’s their window into our process, in reverse. So you can see how Trust depends on the other two phases.
The virtuous cycle from Ethical to Responsible to Trustworthy and back to Ethical

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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