The Role of Artificial Intelligence in the Metaverse
It may still be difficult to create human-looking machines that will dominate the real world. However, in a world where everything is digital, it will not be difficult to create intelligent self-replicating agents that can dispatch and learn from their environment and evolve to take over their environment. The metaverse will provide just that.
Decades ago, The Mighty Godfather of AI, Marvin Minsky, introduced the concept of the society of mind, where our cognitive processes and cognitive architecture are not confined to a specific place and are not isolated processes; they are the collective behaviors of the many subtly ingrained concepts that our minds are capable of. Obviously, intelligence, when polluted with negative traits such as greed, avarice and revenge, can become a curse for humanity.
While this is not a new concept in the AI domain, it takes on great importance since our brains are massively complex networks of hundreds of billions of neurons that are in constant communication with each other. This is what helps humans understand what is going on. Neurons start triggering and responding to a myriad of reactions at a rapid pace, establishing patterns within the brain that subsequently decide the course of actions to be performed by our mind and body in perfect unison. Historically, AI experts have tried to replicate this process using artificial neural networks (ANNs), but this is merely a software-based trick to simulate the human brain.
Changes and possibilities
Everything is now changing rapidly as hardware design is beginning to make the transition, with the advancement of neuromorphic computing in which traditional semiconductor architectures are being disrupted and redesigned to mimic the structure of the human brain, where processing and memory are being combined into one unit, the neural structure that Marvin Minsky created, and many other structures are slowly becoming a reality from a hardware standpoint. This in turn is already making AI faster, better and more general. This is incredibly exciting because, if used correctly, it will produce applications that are incredibly intelligent and can eventually replace general intelligence at the human level.
This is particularly relevant to the metaverse, which will not only be a place where humans using avatars are interacting with other humans using avatars in a virtual 3D space, but will potentially be the first place and chance where artificially intelligent agents can finally exhibit near-human behavior without the physical limitations of building a "real" humanoid robot in the real world. With advances in AI, and specifically neuromorphic computing, which is accelerating the approach to general artificial intelligence (AGI), we may witness a metaverse where an AI is indistinguishable from a human!