Technological developments have long been at the core of many societal fears. Breakthroughs like nuclear energy and even Wi-Fi captured many people’s imaginations, leading them to believe that those things meant to make life easier would instead destroy the world as they knew it.
An entire genre of fiction and film dealing with dystopian societies or alternate universes has fueled the fires of technological fears, particularly around the once-futuristic artificial intelligence (AI) technology. While technology may have ended life as it was once known, every positive societal advance, such as electricity and vaccines, can claim the same.
People will always be afraid of what they don’t know or understand, and there are many nuances of new technology that are understandably difficult to grasp.
One of the biggest fears about AI right now is that humans will be able to differentiate between what’s real and what’s not, especially in digital environments like the Metaverse.
The need for a proof of humanity in the age of AI is a major concern, and the metaverse not only takes these concerns seriously, but many developers are taking steps to address them.
How the Metaverse can integrate AI
While many people speculate and fear about the rise of AI, Metaverse creators are excited about its potential. They see this as a great way to integrate technology and make their worlds more realistic for their users.
Roberto de Arquer Jaumandreu, co-founder of metaverse and digital identity company Gamium, told Cointelegraph that AI will improve the Metaverse experience in three specific ways in the near future: environment, effects, and NPCs (non-playable characters).
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“Environments are the most common when it comes to AI experiences. You can ask the AI to create something with you. No matter how fancy, you can do anything with the right command prompt. This will soon be available in 3D as well. You can start with an asset, you can ask for a table and you can even ask for an entire world,” said Jaumandreu. “The only limit is your imagination.”
This ask-and-you-shall-receive model has already been observed in the creation of ChatGPT. Users can request a paragraph or an entire essay on virtually any topic, and even request specific information or statistics, and the AI will deliver them to them exactly as they requested. With many metaverses focusing on creation, it seems a natural transition for this technology to make its way into Web3 on a larger scale.
Jaumandreu added that AI will help improve the filtering experience in the metaverse.
“You can do everything with filters: be more beautiful, change the colors of things. And that is something that AI can achieve. Filters in the metaverse will be one of the most successful markets because people can use them to change their entire environment and make everything look cooler. AI will make all the difference in the impact in the metaverse,” he said.
Another aspect that excites and dreads many people at the same time is the use of AI to create walking, talking, realistic NPCs.
“AI will improve NPCs through behavior integration. The behavior is not only that you ask a question and the NPC answers it, but also that you ask it to behave in a certain way and it does it. Using the AI, you can move the skeletons of these NPCs to make them behave as if they were a real person and do what you asked them to do as if they were roleplaying,” Jaumandreu said. “More realistic movement of NPCs is a feature we are currently developing.”
Essentially, AI will bring the metaverse to life and make it more interactive, and that belief is shared by others in the Web3 space, such as Raj Rajkotia, founder of sports metaverse LootMogul.
Rajkotia told Cointelegraph, “The Metaverse is a perfect place for the integration of AI technologies. It’s one of the key elements in our metaverse when it comes to avatars and personal profiles.”
Similar to Jaumandreu about the NPCs, Rajkotia believes that AI technology will change the way avatars improve gameplay.
“Generally when you play a game, the game levels up through a database or usage. The inclusion of AI makes it even more interesting, because if the machine learns your talents, your AI character can learn in-game too. So your character will be constantly learning and improving and getting better in the game, and that’s being accomplished through the use of AI technology,” he said.
This integration has the potential to transform gaming as players currently know it. When games or stories within games are directly connected to NPCs or avatars – especially ones with their own behavior – a user can experience an entirely new game or story every time they restart a game or story.
However, the main issue with integrating AI into the metaverse revolves around how users can differentiate between the AI characters and other real users.
proof of humanity
The biggest concern people have when it comes to AI is trust. How can they trust that what they are interacting with is what they think they are interacting with? As the metaverse fills up with more and more AIs, this trust issue needs to be addressed in a way that makes users feel safe. Otherwise, they may no longer have any desire to interact within the metaverse at all.
“Due to the amount of AIs that are currently emerging, it is becoming increasingly difficult to distinguish between AI and an actual person, so evidence of humanity will be collected in the near future. We are focused on verifying and creating a unique identity for the entire internet,” said Jaumandreu.
This “Proof-of-Humanity” tool uses people’s biometric data to prove they are human. Similar to the blue tick on Instagram letting users know they are dealing with a remarkable person, the “tick” in the Metaverse would let people know they were actually interacting with a real person and not an AI.
Another concern related to AI in the metaverse is that AI-based personalities could potentially flood the space. A solution to this problem would be to limit the amount of AI allowed within a given metaverse or game.
“You have to be careful how many AI characters are in the crowd. Otherwise, people will become discouraged and then lose confidence in the environment,” Rajkotia added. “If people want to meet up with their friends for a game and expect to play with a certain person, but the game is full of AI characters, they will wonder if they are playing with that person at all.”
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The solution to this problem is a hybrid environment with a healthy mix of both. Users have the AI and self-learning that bring the metaverse to life, but there’s also the human connection that they want. Sense of community is important within the metaverse, and community is created when there is an actual human connection.
If the balance between AI and human characters veers too far one way or the other, the metaverse will be constrained in a way that isn’t conducive to the purpose of the room. Without AI technology, there are limitations to what can be developed and how people can interact. With too much AI there is no need for humans and in return humans would not enter the metaverse.
While there will always be concerns about AI technology, developers are working hard to use biometrics to provide proof of humanity. As more people evolve within Web3 and create metaverses, the more likely the right balance will be found over time.