I was asked by an attendee at a talk this past week:
“How are artificial intelligence and metaverse related?”
The following are my thoughts, starting with an explanation of just what metaverse is purported to be, and followed by just how artificial intelligence will be interacting with metaverse.
Metaverse is a convergence of the real and virtual worlds made possible with technologies of extended reality (augmented and virtual types), artificial intelligence, and blockchain. The origin of metaverse is from the 1992 science fiction novel Snow Crash in which the terms “meta” and “universe” are combined. Metaverse is perhaps a paradigm shift in just how we interact with technology (rather than any type of technology), but the true definition of metaverse remains a bit vague, reminiscent of the early discussion of the internet in the 1970s.
The metaverse is, in short, an immersive virtual world (VR, AR, and even social media) that can accommodate a person to be a persona in a myriad of networks. While metaverse has been deployed mainly in gaming and social connection up to now, its potential use in entertainment, business, education, and training in the future is very high. Examples of early entities in the metaverse realm include the role-playing game World of Warcraft and the more recent survival game Fortnite, while the most recent entries into this domain include Microsoft, Nvidia, and Facebook (the latter even rebranded to Meta). One significant limitation of metaverse is that the VR experience often creates a motion sickness problem for the user.
Artificial intelligence and metaverse
Artificial intelligence in the form of self-supervised learning will most likely play key roles in the portfolio of metaverse architectural elements:
The convening of players in the metaverse will rely heavily on language processing, so artificial intelligence in the form of natural language processing will be extremely useful for this element.
The players are represented by avatars, which are essentially 2D and 3D images created by artificial intelligence. As the user experience is a key part of the metaverse, artificial intelligence will be vital to improve the overall experience.
The metaverse is also supported by data of all types in the players. The curation and management of data will be enabled by artificial intelligence in the form of machine and deep learning.
The bottom line is that there is an important role for artificial intelligence, not only in the metaverse, but also the extended reality portfolio of tools. The potential of metaverse use in clinical medicine and healthcare is virtually (excuse the unintended pun) limitless: medical education, clinical training, patient education, and performing procedures.
In short, artificial intelligence is an integral part of the metaverse and will render the entire visual experience more real and fluid to the user, including clinicians and patients with their families.