Let’s imagine a dream where we are all living in a life simulation…
Most of you know how Meta could change our world (if not, take a look at this short video: Everything Facebook revealed about the Metaverse). In fact, many other companies will try to make it. Interaction with virtual worlds is already here, there are plenty of cool devices we may use to dive into another reality.
I’m a game developer professional and most of my time I’m spending on designing AI behaviors for my games (from chess AI to AR assistants). I’m not going to tell you about the virtual worlds in this post, but about the artificial intelligence inside. And it’s not only about games, it’s about an advanced interaction with virtual worlds, about how the system could work. Here you will find some basic understanding of how AI could be used in the metaverse and its purpose.
What could AI give in the metaverse?
Almost everything starts from a brand new experience ending having a child in virtual reality.. wow, what? Have I said you about having a child in VR? Yeah, sounds crazy, but I’ll break it later so you will understand more, little spoiler: it’s almost not possible for now.
The main limitation in appearing metaverses in our life is a small number of users who have VR/AR headsets. And that’s logical, people don’t want to use big and heavy helmets with lenses which could give you a headache after just a few hours of staying inside. What can we give people to join these worlds? How do share this experience with more people? How to move the world from using PC to VR/AR? I’m sure blue-chip IT companies are thinking about answering these questions. I’ll try to answer another question, what AI could give us in those virtual worlds and extend our experience? I hope this writing will be useful for developers and gamers who someday will join virtual worlds. Who knows, perhaps my writing will be seen many years later when we all will be joined into the new MetaWorld.
Alright, AI or artificial intelligence is basically a collection of behavioral instructions based on decisions (predicted or hardcoded) in electronic devices (it could be robotics, games, or some hybrid machines, etc.).
In games, we have AI that should give us the most fun from the game. Let’s remember the Mario series, there are plenty of different NPC’s you may see during the gameplay, such as Goomba or Hammer Bro. They all have different behaviors. Without enemies, the game would be too boring.
In hybrid machines or robotics, AI usually plays the role of assistants in doing typical, monotonous work or dangerous for people’s health (like observing active volcanoes or working with radioactive liquids).
AI in the metaverse (it could be AR, VR, XR, or any other types of presenting metaverses where we may feel deeply integrated. In fact, the PC game Second Life is counting as a metaverse game too) could be any of mentioned above. Imagine a game shop seller, a robotic system that investigates volcanoes, a virtual teacher, a cameraman at a concert, your personal fitness trainer… and put everything into one world. Or separate it. How you wish, your possibilities are infinite (at least for now, when everything is still under development and we’re not having strong restrictions in creating virtual worlds).
What about usage?
Sure, if you’re a developer or a content maker, willing to create some kind of AI in a brand new meta world (let’s imagine it already exists and millions of people are dived into it) it’s totally possible for you to sell goods through a metaverse. How would you profit from implementing AI? What type of AI should you choose?
First of all, we need to have a specific goal for your business. Could you sell virtual goods or NFT’s? Skins, new weapons, or maybe you’re 3d artist or fashioner who wants to sell your own t-shirt to be worn in a virtual world? Would you sell it by yourself or just let it fly on a banner? Of course, if you’re a digital representer of Lui Vuitton perhaps people will know this brand, but competitions haven’t been canceled even in metaverses. Anyways even for big companies. Who are your sellers? Who are your promoters? Do you think it’s a good idea to hire a seller that would help buyers to determine if shorts would be a good fit for a specific hat? I think no one will do that. It’s not fun. It’s not what people would do in virtual worlds. So put an NPC! Alright, you’re getting security too. Just pay small fees for their usage. How would you benefit from them? In the same way as in real life.
The needs of AI’s in business will depend on how detailed will be made those worlds. Will it have a teleport to reach big distances or do you need transport? If you need transportation, do you want to drive a car and spend time on it or you would better call your AI assistant to bring you to the target?
Alright, we see that metaverse could extend our horizons of imagination, share more knowledge, sell brands and goods, give people a chance to touch some virtual creation. Isn’t it cool? We’re diving into another world, the era of virtual reality, so everything around this technology will be improving every year. Remember the time when the internet and personal computer just came into our world. How it was and how it looks nowadays. Just give metaverse a little more time to let people understand the whole concept, how it should work and how to develop it user-friendly and useful.
I’d like to share more info about the practical development of AI in virtual reality and how to develop your own VR Tamagotchi in Unity. So stay tuned!