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Welcome To The OSVerse
A sneak peek into OSV's techno-optimistic sci-fi city
This article, written by OSV’s futurist-in-residence, Hiromu Rose, is taken from the inaugural edition of OSV Quarterly: your definitive source for comprehensive updates on our verticals, exclusive editorial insights from Jim, thought-provoking articles from the team, and more.
Producing OSV Quarterly has been a real labor of love for the team, and we’re all very excited for you to finally get the chance to read it. The first edition of the magazine launched today and is available (for free) here.
Strolling through an alleyway in the heart of the city, you're immediately struck by the seamless blend of the old and new.
Autonomous vehicles glide silently down the streets, while robots diligently clean the sidewalks, making room for the city's vibrant foot traffic. You pass by some buildings resembling modern-day Renaissance ateliers, where you catch glimpses of scientists and artists deeply engrossed in their work, aided by AI voice assistants. These creators are pushing the boundaries of innovation, from developing new high-temperature superconductor materials for magnetic levitation tech to crafting large sculptures with the aid of robotic arms. Some of them are even working on conceptual models for experimental projects like geoengineering oceans to beat climate change and designing Dyson Spheres.
Emerging from the alley, you find yourself facing an Academy that seems as if it could have been taken from Ancient Greece, complete with Doric columns and intricate friezes.
You step closer, and notice that the columns are lined with solar panels and the friezes show humans working together with robots. Young students spill into the streets from the Academy, passionately discussing the theories of Laozi and Socrates, practicing rhetoric, and referencing their personal LLM devices for quick fact-checks. Their garments are a marvel of fashion and function, 3D printed to custom-fit them while being adorned with embroidered GPUs that allow them to run complex computations locally.
“You pass by some buildings resembling modern-day Renaissance ateliers, where you catch glimpses of scientists and artists deeply engrossed in their work, aided by AI voice assistants.”
Continuing the journey, you enter the Agora, a bustling hub of creativity and commerce. The air is tinged with the aroma of exotic fruits and spices, emanating from food stands where 3D printers craft culinary delights adjusted to your diet on demand. Teenagers zip by on superconducting skateboards, prototypes of their own invention, while a circle of modern-day philosophers debates the nuances of metaphysics and theories of consciousness. Your gaze is suddenly captured by a glowing spherical monument. Your personal LLM informs you that this isn’t just an aesthetic structure, it is one of the city’s core quantum computing centers, surrounded by GPU clusters and constantly simulating the city accurately to adapt to its citizens’ needs.
As you gaze into the distance, you see a pastoral landscape and mountains. These are adorned with colossal tributes to inventors and creators, from Leonardo da Vinci to Nikola Tesla, and to groundbreaking inventions like semiconductors and CRISPR. Your personal LLM informs you that these monuments double as nuclear fusion reactors that power the city with clean, secure, and abundant energy.
“The air is tinged with the aroma of exotic fruits and spices, emanating from food stands where 3D printers craft culinary delights adjusted to your diet on demand.”
You slowly look up as you notice a cargo blimp passing through the skies. On closer observation, you also notice supersonic planes jetting off to the distance (almost) silently. Some are darting off to far-flung destinations on Earth, while others are ascending to Low Earth Orbit to deliver cargo and passengers to partake in the blossoming space ecosystem. From mass manufacturing of large structures in space to asteroid mining and even missions to Mars and beyond, this new space economy embodies a shared vision of exploration and enterprise.
As you take it all in, you realize this is no ordinary city; it's a vision of the future, a place where tradition and innovation coalesce in a symphony of creativity and technological advancement.
This is the OSVerse.
What is the OSVerse?
We are currently living in a time of immense opportunity. Potential breakthroughs in fields such as room-temperature superconductors and advancements in nuclear fusion are bringing us closer to becoming a Kardashev scale Type I civilization. Emerging longevity treatments may also enable us to live longer than ever thought before. At the core of this optimistic future is AI, which we believe has the capacity to catalyze a new Renaissance in arts, sciences, engineering, and more. AI will transform the way we process information and the rate at which we can do things. This will ultimately allow us to make new discoveries and express ourselves in ways that we previously wouldn’t have been able to do. OSV is committed to acting as a patron in this flourishing ecosystem, guiding and supporting the transformative projects that will shape our collective future. These factors all make the timing perfect for a project that envisions a potential positive future that we can strive to live in.
The OSVerse is an internal thought experiment initiated to envisage techno-optimistic futures.
I’ve worked at multiple companies actively building out the future such as SpaceX, Tesla, Waymo, and Apple. During my experiences at these companies I got to see the potential that technology can have in creating flourishing futures. As a result, I have many visions for what possible tomorrows could look like. OSV has allowed me the opportunity to showcase these through the OSVerse.
The OSVerse is an internal thought experiment initiated to envisage techno-optimistic futures. The first step of the OSVerse involves worldbuilding a hypothetical science-fiction city, set decades into the future, and using this city as a platform to tell stories through different mediums, such as short films and written stories. This is not a definitive vision of the future but an exploration that is fluid to change while ultimately embodying an aura of positivity. The OSVerse will serve both as a source of inspiration for creators and builders, and as a strategic north star for the organization.
“the unique human ability to create, think abstractly, and empathize is something that AI can augment and empower, but never replace”
In a cultural landscape often dominated by dystopian narratives, especially concerning the rise of AI, the OSVerse seeks to counterbalance fear with possibility. We recognize that while the future holds challenges, it also offers unprecedented opportunities for innovation and progress. Most of the sci-fi and media we encounter today were created prior to the recent paradigm shift brought about by Generative AI. Recognizing the transformative potential of this technology, the aim is to produce a fictional world and several stories that envision a positive future informed by our current knowledge of AI.
We foresee a future where humans are superpowered by AI tools. The OSVerse celebrates the notion that the unique human ability to create, think abstractly, and empathize is something that AI can augment and empower, but never replace. Future versions of tools like Stable Diffusion and ChatGPT will accentuate the essence of human creativity and could usher in a new era of humanism, where people are not overshadowed but are instead shepherds and wielders of the AI tools at our disposal.
The building process of the OSVerse will be an early example of this positive future. A combination of AI tools and human artistry will be used to create a collection of inspirational media pieces. We’ll also highlight the untapped potential opportunities for human-AI collaboration within our future world.
Technology, Society & the City
At OSV, some of our core values—Creation, Intellectual Curiosity, Freedom of Thought, Collaboration, Interdisciplinary Mindsets, Exploration, and Kindness—serve as the guiding principles we aim to reflect in our media initiatives.
We view cities as the perfect means of expressing these values. Cities are always at the forefront of progress and are often the first thing that comes to mind when we think of the future. In light of emerging trends of network states and newly planned cities, we advocate for the development of urban environments that are human-centric, technologically progressive, and ecologically sustainable. Our vision encompasses a city at the vanguard of innovation, unhesitatingly adopting transformative technologies and accelerating towards a more optimistic future.
“we want to make the modern equivalents of Leonardo da Vinci’s bottega, Baghdad’s House of Wisdom, Parisian intellectual salons, and other structures that created a space for intellectual curiosity and freedom.”
The OSVerse envisions a shift not only in technology but also in society, from one that consumes to one that creates, cultivating a community that respects tradition yet boldly ventures into uncharted domains. To do this we can find inspiration in history and pull elements from different societies that enabled innovation. Looking back at societal structures during time periods characterized by human ingenuity and creativity, such as the Italian Renaissance, the Islamic Golden Age, and the Enlightenment, we want to make the modern equivalents of Leonardo da Vinci’s bottega, Baghdad’s House of Wisdom, Parisian intellectual salons, and other structures that created a space for intellectual curiosity and freedom.
We believe there is value in some of the historical ways people organized themselves and hope to re-envision them with new technologies in mind. These reimagined options can provide alternatives to the dominance of corporate structures today, and would empower this society to pursue higher level virtues such as knowledge instead of today’s fixation on profits. We hope to showcase new systems enabled by such a civilization including a colossus of combined human knowledge using AI and more.
The OSVerse is intricately aligned with OSV's four verticals: Fellowships, Infinite Adventures, Infinite Films, and Infinite Media.
Our aim is twofold: the first is to draw inspiration from the work of our fellows, portfolio companies, and fellow creators, as well as other areas of technological progress, in shaping this visionary future; the second is to serve as a compelling beacon that attracts new creative projects and ventures that resonate with our objectives.
We are in the process of developing a diverse array of media and video content to bring the OSVerse to life. Over the coming months, we will be unveiling further glimpses into this future landscape. We invite you to stay engaged for a preview of the world as OSV envisions it as well as how the OSVerse will be a bridge that connects all of our verticals.
If you are actively building in any area that can help make this future a reality or if you want to help us refine our vision, this is a call to action. Reach out if you want to help shape the OSVerse.
Hiro’s next article on the OSVerse will be published in November. In the meantime, you can check out the rest of the inaugural edition of OSV Quarterly here.