Role of Artificial Intelligence in the Metaverse – The next big step in digitization is the metaverse, and tech players have realized that. But to achieve this, it is not enough to create a virtual environment and hardware to access it. The metaverse is much more than just virtual reality, and AI will be an essential component of it.
AI and metaverse: definitions
Artificial intelligence (AI) and the metaverse are two technological terms that we hear a lot about these days.
AI is a concept that has emerged since the 1950s which, by definition, means mimicking human intelligence using a computer program. But it would be more appropriate to describe it as a means of solving specific problems on a human scale. It does this by rapidly analyzing huge amounts of data to then help make better decisions or automate a process.
Metaverse is defined as a new interactive digital world . Everyone will be able to interact with other people and with their environment as they do in the real world. The metaverse combines several technologies, including virtual reality and augmented reality , 3D , blockchain , and AI .
Role of Artificial Intelligence in the Metaverse
It is not just an experimental platform. Indeed, in the metaverse, people will be able to work, create, transact and socialize. In other words, this future virtual world would be a parallel world in which we would have control.
Why does the metaverse need AI?
Within the metaverse, users, through their 3D avatars , will therefore be able to interact with 3D objects. AI algorithms today make it possible to cover several areas that will be essential for the creation of this world. These range from speech processing , vision and biomimetics to cognition . AI technologies can help create the foundations of the metaverse.
But let us first note that the metaverse must be a scalable, synchronous, open and interoperable virtual platform. It must include a solid infrastructure, a user interface that gives free rein to discovery , creativity, and experience .
AI intervenes at all levels to make a metaverse platform operational. The first step is to create a good infrastructure including hardware, software and communication tools. This implies a perfect understanding of the activities, i.e. impacts, anomalies, etc.
All of these capabilities AI can provide through the combination of Big Data and machine learning , AIOps . Simply put, it’s about automating the various processes to gain relevant insight and ultimately ensure the robustness of the infrastructure.
It is important to create a unique immersive experience. As we said earlier, the metaverse is an environment in which users can interact with other users or other objects. The user interface is therefore another essential element for the platform.
But the metaverse must also be an inclusive environment, accessible to everyone, even people with disabilities. Likewise, the interface should not exclude people who are less familiar with technology. In other words, accessibility is key to the metaverse, and AI can help.
For example, image recognition can help the visually impaired or real-time transcription for the hearing impaired. Similarly, exoskeletons or brain-computer interfaces allow people with physical disabilities to interact with the digital world.
Realism and creativity
Remember once again that the metaverse is a virtual world similar to reality. For many industries, simulation is a way to test products while reducing risk and cost. For example, we can cite autonomous driving software, robots, but also other technologies such as real-time automatic translation for virtual humans. Again, AI plays a key role in designing the digital spaces of the metaverse, ranging from mapping to 3D modeling .
Furthermore, artificial intelligence has made enormous progress in terms of creativity. Generative AI is a branch that aims to generate new instances of realistic data. This ranges from texts to sounds and images. You may have heard of OpenAI ‘s GPT-3 which can generate writing worthy of a human writer, and it’s not alone. Another example would be the DALL-E 2 algorithms from OpenAI and the GauGAN2 from NVIDIA which allow images to be generated from a simple textual description. For its part, Meta (formerly Facebook) offers the Builder Bot , a chatbot that allows you to create a virtual world for the metaverse.
When it comes to social interaction, we have to talk about online safety, because, indeed, the metaverse is a connected platform. Let’s first come back to the question of inclusion . Some users, especially minority groups, often have unpleasant experiences. In other words, racism and discrimination are present everywhere, even in the virtual world.
To remedy this, AI contributes to the prevention of abuse and the detection of hate speech against these groups of people. It can also help assess the relevance of content to ensure it is fair.
While the previously cited points are all about making the experience more immersive, there is still more AI can do to improve the metaverse. Among other advantages, it offers possibilities of customization and adaptation to different situations. Thus, artificial intelligence can augment sensory experiences for those who have more physical difficulties. Also, it can help adjust the learning path for new users.
AI use cases in the metaverse
Now that we understand what the role of AI is in the metaverse, let’s see how it can be used in practice. When we talk about the virtual world, we inevitably think of virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR). Certainly, these technologies constitute, in part, a basis of the metaverse. But artificial intelligence offers more possibilities, both in design, as we have explained in the previous parts, and in use.
Create your human twin
Once in the metaverse, you will be represented by a digital avatar . Thanks to its learning ability, AI can analyze large amounts of data and reproduce it. Thus, from 2D images or 3D scans, she can create a very realistic digital twin. Besides the avatar’s body, it can even help replicate facial expressions and emotions. For example, NVIDIA combines conversational AI and 3D modeling on its Omniverse Avatar platform .
In the real world, you are not the only human there is. Therefore a parallel world must also include other humans. We talked about socialization, which means that users can interact with other people, either through speech or gestures. In the case of a video game, these would be non-player characters (NPCs).
Again, AI technologies are used to create this essential component of the metaverse. As a company that works in this field, we can mention Soul Machines .
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Natural language processing or NLP is a branch of AI that is also very useful to the metaverse. Simply put, it’s the technology that allows machines and software to understand and mimic human language .
From this definition, we can already understand its role in the metaverse. Even if we talk about human twin, let’s not forget the “virtual” part. It is therefore a computer program. Also, it is the NLP that will allow the avatar to speak like a human would.
But a more advanced exploitation of this AI technology is in real-time machine translation . This feature allows the different actors of the metaverse to communicate with each other even if they speak different languages. Mark Zuckerberg, for example, presented the Meta project for the metaverse a few weeks ago. Among his statements, he announced the construction of a universal voice translator as well as other NLP tools such as CAIRaoke .
The metaverse, on its way to the future
The metaverse is arguably the future of the digital world. The fact that the digital giant has renamed its company by alluding to it is proof of this. Indeed, virtual social interactions or simulations are aspects of technology that companies are increasingly moving towards.
The virtual world The Sandbox already has more than two million users and is currently among the top three platforms in the world. But the metaverse cannot exist without the AI as well as the supercomputers and the 5G which give it all its power .