Unless you’ve never touched your smartphone or PC since January, you know that there’s one thing in the newsfeed of every internet user these days: artificial intelligence.
Ever since OpenAI released ChatGPT 3.5 last year, companies have been racing to integrate AI into their workflow to optimize productivity. The past months have seen new generative AI models, applications, and plugins flooding the market at a dizzying pace. With emerging technology being rolled out at breakneck speed, one thing is now clear: building and maintaining a functional metaverse will not be possible without the help of artificial intelligence. From creating hyper realistic environments to managing the virtual economy of the future, expect the builders of the metaverse to tap into AI’s abilities to create truly interactive and immersive virtual worlds.
Here’s a brief list of what roles AI will likely play in the future of virtual worlds:
Because of AI’s capacity to analyze huge datasets and make inferences based on that data, it can tailor users’ experiences based on their past behavior. Even socialization and shopping will be more engaging, as AI will be able to provide personalized recommendations at every stage of the customer journey.
AI-powered customer service chatbots and personal assistants can answer questions, speed up decision-making, and give feedback. AI will eliminate repetitive and time-consuming tasks, freeing up time and resources for more creativity and innovation.
Another benefit of AI in the metaverse is that it can enable new forms of collaboration within virtual workspaces. Artists and designers can use AI to generate new models, watch them interact in test environments in 3D, and propose revisions to speed up the design process.
Virtual and augmented reality will benefit greatly from AI. More fluid animation and 3D rendering of textures, movement, dynamic lighting, and weather will create a more immersive, realistic virtual experience. Data from sensors and cameras can be processed by AI and used to recreate digital twins of people, objects, or places that behave exactly like their counterparts in the real world. Besides player avatars, AI can be used to create non-player characters (NPCs) that are almost indistinguishable from real humans.
Synching all these in real time will also be key to creating an intelligent, adaptive environment that gamers of today can only dream of.
To keep the metaverse running smoothly, huge amounts of data need to be processed, analyzed, categorized, stored, and synchronized across devices every second. Fortunately, AI can handle data management at a scale humans cannot keep up with, including monitoring chats and immediately flagging inappropriate content.
AI can be used to maintain the tech infrastructure of the metaverse. It can create, audit, and maintain smart contracts for underlying blockchains. It can detect errors much faster than humans can and debug them before they can cause serious harm. Through natural language processing, AI will allow users to give direct commands to the computer even without knowledge of programming code.
To enable a more accessible virtual world, AI can help level the playing field and allow persons of any language, culture, race, and social status to participate. Its multi-lingual abilities will allow users to translate speech and converse even without a shared language.
With the help of AI, the lack of communication and design skills will no longer be a barrier to creating the world of one’s dreams. AI users can take text and simple 2D input and use these to create and modify entire virtual worlds, taking entertainment to a new level of sophistication.
While AI is crucial for building the metaverse, there are ethical and privacy concerns that need to be addressed. AI can be used to spread misinformation, harmful behavior, and propaganda through malicious content and deepfakes, which are nearly indistinguishable from real humans.
To what extent should the development and deployment of AI in the metaverse be regulated? The path forward requires putting safeguards in place, as well as setting standards that guarantee the responsible development, training, and use of AI. A balanced approach will aim to maximize the benefits of AI while minimizing its risks.
As artificial intelligence continues to advance, let us focus on how to build a safe and productive metaverse where we can wisely harness this technology to live meaningful, productive lives.
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