The metaverse is filled with 'elves' - TechCrunch

The metaverse is filled with elves TechCrunch

Some say the metaverse is just marketing hype, while others want it to change society. I finally fall into camp, but I’m not talking about a cartoon world full of avatars as many build.

Instead, I believe that the pure metal - the one who will change society - it will be a rising stage of the real world, and within 10 years it will be the foundation for our lives, influencing everything from being purchasing and communications to business and education.

I also believe that metaverse under physical control is dangerous to society and requires aggressive regulation. That’s because the platform’s providers will be able to handle users in ways that make social media look quaint. Most people enjoy worries about data collection and privacy, but they overlook the most dangerous technology in metaverse - artificial intelligence.

The most dangerous part of the metaverse: agenda-driven artificial agents who look and act like other users but are actually symbolic people controlled by AI.

Of course, if you ask people to name the main technologies of the metaverse, they usually focus on the eye and perhaps refer to the graphics engines, 5G or even blockchain. But these are just the nuts and bolts of our immersive future - AI is the technology that pulls the strings in the metaverse, creating (and manipulating) our experience.

Artificial intelligence will be just as important to our virtual future as the headphones that will receive all the attention. And the most dangerous part of the metaverse is agenda-driven artificial agents who look and act like other users but are actually symbolic people under the control of AI. They engage us in "conversation handling," aiming to pay advertisers on our behalf without us realizing that they are untrue.

This is especially dangerous when the AI ​​algorithms have access to data about our personal interests and beliefs, practices, and temperance, all of which monitor our emotional state by reading our face expressions and our voice utterances.

If you think targeted ads in social media are handy, it is nothing compared to the chat reps that connect us in the metaverse. They make us more skilled than any human salesman, and not just to sell us tools - they push political propaganda and targeted misinformation on behalf of the highest bidder.

And because these AI agents look and sound like anyone else in the metaverse, our natural suspicion of advertising will not protect us. For these reasons, we need to manage AI-driven conversational agents, especially when they have access to our facial and vocal effects, enabling us to use our emotions against us in real time. true.

If we do not control this, ads in the form of AI - driven avatars will alert you when you are skeptical and change tactics in the middle of a sentence, quickly introducing the words and h influential images. you in person. As I wrote in 2022, if AI can learn to beat the best chess and Go players in the world, then children's play is to learn to influence users to buying things (and believing things) that are not in our best interest.

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But out of all the technology ahead of us, the so-called "elf" will be the most powerful and subtle form of coercion in the metaphor. These “electronic life helpers” are a natural evolution of digital assistants like Siri and Alexa, but they will not be unique voices in the metaverse. They will be custom anthropomorphized people for every user.

Platform providers market these AI reps as virtual life coaches and they will last throughout your day while you navigate the metaverse. And since the metaverse will eventually be the real-world escalator, these digital elves will be with you everywhere, whether you buy or work or just hang out. -mach.

And just like the marketing reps described above, these elves will have access to your facial expressions and voice statements along with a detailed data history of your life, pushing you to actions and activity, products and services, even political views.

And no, they're not like today's raw chatbots, but corporate characters that you come to think of as trustworthy people in your life - a mix of an experienced friend, a helpful counselor and a friendly therapist. And yet, your elf will know you in ways your friend never could, as it will monitor every aspect of your life down to your blood pressure and breathing level (via the smartwatch you trust).

Yes, this feels scary, which is why platform providers make them elegant and non-threatening, with innocent features and approaches that are more like a magical character in your “adventure your own life ”is what a human-sized helper is following you around. That's why I use the word "elf" to describe them, as they could look like a fairy over your shoulder or maybe a gremlin or an alien - a small anthropomorphic character. 'can irrigate your ear or fly out in front to draw attention to things in your developed world that it wants you to focus on.

Here's where it's especially dangerous - without regulation, those lifeguards will be overwhelmed by paying advertisers, targeting you with more skill and precision than anything on social media today. And unlike today's ads, these intelligent reps follow you around, guide you through your day, and do it with a smile or a giggly smile.

To help tell what this will look like, both positive and negative, I have written a short statement, Metaverse 2030, which outlines how AI will lead our immersion life before 2030 and beyond.

Ultimately, VR, AR and AI technologies have the potential to enrich and improve our lives. But when put together, these devices are particularly dangerous, as they all have one powerful feature - they can lead us to believe that computer - generated content is real, even if it is a manipulation. driven by an agenda. It is this powerful capability for digital deception that should frighten us of meaverse with AI capability, especially when it is controlled by powerful corporations that sell third party access to their customers for motivational factors.

I raise these concerns in the hope that consumers and business leaders will push for meaningful regulation before the problems become so entrenched in metaverse technology that they cannot be removed.

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