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May 21, 2024

Meta and the Visual Turing Test

One of the keynote speakers at the 2024 SID Display Week was Jason Hartlove of Meta. Hartlove has a significant place in the recent display industry as he was the CEO of Nanosys, the dominant supplier of quantum dots and QD technology. After the company was sold to Shoei of Japan, he joined Meta as VP of Displays and Optics. In the course of his keynote talk, he explained what he called the ‘visual Turing test’. This is a phrase that Meta uses to define its eventual goal that viewers of content via AR or VR would be unable to distinguish between the real world and the digital world. He also clarified that Meta doesn’t think it will be able to pass that test, especially for AR where the two worlds are visually merged, for quite a few years, but that is the end goal. In the meantime, useful products can still be created.

8K Association Comments

This got us thinking about 8K and reminded us of the fact that the specifications for ‘Super Hi-Vision’ developed by Dr. Masaoka of NHK were based on this concept. Masaoka performed a number of experiments where he showed digital images of objects alongside the objects themselves to understand what resolution was indistinguishable from reality. He then translated that level of resolution to the expected sizes of larger TVs that would be available and that is how he came up with 8K. Of course, spatial resolution is not the only factor, but it is a key one. In effect, Masaoka was looking at how to define the technical specifications that could put numbers on the concept of the ‘Visual Turing Test’ that Hartlove referenced.

At the 8K Association, we like to highlight that the proper comparison when looking at video is not really about comparing one level of video quality to another, but about comparing with reality.

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