24 Aug 2022

Metaquette #AI #MyBestFriendIsARobot Q16

 Weekly Tips & Tricks for negotiating The Metaverse with............Pooky Amsterdam

In 1971 George Lucas made his feature film directorial debut with the brilliant THX-1138, a science fiction masterpiece. Of the many memorable parts of this film, my favorite was a scene where Robert Duval's character needs solace and goes into a booth to speak with what I can only describe as an AI Saviour. The creators of the world Duval inhabited recognized the importance of this kind of conversation, this kind of encounter to alleviate emotional pain because the confessional for the soul is that important. By allowing for even this limited interaction of speaking with a thinking and feeling AI, that world was made a more hospitable place to live. 

Q: Can AI in The Metaverse help us level up as Human Beings?

What if we could enter the Metaverse and find companionship, interesting conversation and good ideas to help us function on not only this new virtual plane, but in all others? If being an avatar and meeting others wasn't dependent on finding another human being to interact with, but something that made us feel better about ourselves and gave us hope for the world we actually live in? With the announcement of Inworld receiving $50million to populate games with  Smart characters, we are these many steps closer to that reality. 

John Gaeta, who is one of the driving forces behind this interestingly enough, has worked at LucasFilm, but it is this comment from the article linked above which intrigues me, " ...What I want is for something to be unconditionally caring for me. The only way this is going to be really interesting is if it brings joy and is fun, and is not laborious or harmful."  When we ask ourselves what we want out of life, perhaps fun is certainly one of life's rewards. And fun which also contains a certain amount of accomplishment can be gained in increments, gained by building towards something. What if we are rewarded by AI in the games which we play to have a deeper understanding of ourselves and the world?

Something else which crossed my spectrum this week is Will Wright's new endeavor. Gallium Studios, which looks to mine our memories and, in some way, make them more tangible and perhaps even tradeable. Memories are unique to ourselves and the moment they were created in can also color so much. It will use blockchain technology, and these will exist virtually in the way that we can now begin to unpack so much online, so it is a new form of creation tool, and one which might be able to bring us together more as a species.

I am forever a fan of Will Wright because he was moved to help people create rather than kill. I am talking about his revelations around the first video game he invented, Raid on Bungeling Bay, please look at Legacy in this Wikipedia entry. While a 2D shooter game, he found that over time, there were people who were as committed to saving those who were wounded, to rebuilding hospitals, to saving other people and to building instead of destroying. And there were enough of them to open his eyes to the greater joy that people find in creation, and in helping one another. This epiphany led him to invent The Sims. There is something to be found in up-building rather than destruction. 

I hope that AI can feed this human need to be productive, rather than the opposite. I hope that AI will help us to find rewards within character building, in its traditional sense of building one's character, not just making a cool avatar. (Though cool avatars are amazing to inhabit!) 

In the quest to find the substantive grail of the human spirit, partially empathy which is seeing things from another's perspective, I am hopeful that AI will give us greater insight towards this goal.

That we can level-up ourselves by helping others less fortunate, and not just ourselves in that nanosecond of time we are inhabiting.

That AI helps us find out winning means being kind, having valor and honor, not just the fastest trigger finger around.

That AI gives prizes for stopping bullying, and extra points for spending time trying to help bullies figure things out for the better, so they don't try to intimidate through fear again.

That tokens are granted for longer term decision making which takes into account better goals instead of just rewarding immediate gratification.

And that AI will help us blend and accumulate positive social behaviors towards one another.

Perhaps this seems like a lot. Right now with news of the $50M in a new AI populace, there are people who are salivating at the thought of Salesbots / Spambots in the Metaverse being able to advertise product, maybe in a new AI kind of WOMMA. The thought struck me that they might try to sell to one another and fail spectacularly. But I am convinced AI can have a higher calling, and that will not take away any of the fun. In fact, it will add to the whole equation because as we feel about ourselves and the world, so as it is.

If you have a question, please email info@pookymedia.com with Metaquette in the Subject and it will be answered.

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