28 Dec 2022

Metaquette #Metaverse #MetaverseNewYear #Predictions2023 #2023 Q29

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

Happy MetaVerse New Year to ALL! Many people have launched themselves into these great worlds where we all log in equally. It is known as The Metaverse. Which will stick and who will perish as platforms compete for end users and brands want to use them for sales and recognition? What will our understanding of "do anything / be anything" look like even one short year from now? How many hours will people give to their virtual lives? As I have mentioned before, what one does becomes imperative for time is the new currency. Where and how we spend it in The Metaverse determines commitment, and The Metaverse needs dedicated users to flourish. An end of the year musing........

Q: Can AI help humans become better people in The Metaverse?

The growth of AI along with these newish platforms gives way to potential collaboration. Not a big leap to imagine worlds populated by AI to give a feeling of there being "others" in the Metaverse, no one wants to hang out in a virtual wasteland no matter how pretty.  Instead of "salesbots" though, maybe we need redeeming robots whose companionship delivers more than a temporary cure for loneliness. Maybe AI could create fun challenges which deliver attitude hacks, encouraging us and rewarding us for good behavior.

We as a species might not be yet ready for an app which tells us when we are being obnoxious, rude or self-absorbed in the extreme, but how about a friendly Metaverse bot who would give guidance and solace when we box ourselves into emotional corners we can't get out of? Or help with anger management? Could an AI give us emotional support, in the way that a dog, cat or pig does in real life? And better yet, as AI can speak and communicate in ways that animals can't. (That interface is still being created for animal / human verbal exchange, for those brave enough to want to know what their dog really thinks of them.)

How could this work? Moving through the Metaverse, interacting with different situations, the AI could ask questions about how one is feeling, and why. Even asking at what point the human could be inclined to be more understanding, or even kind? Then rewards would be given, perhaps of extra time, with the  AI,  if the person wanted level up, and learn how to be more compassionate too. Could the AI train the human to not be offended so easily? To have empathy for those in less financially secure places? To give bonuses for the balm of humor, which connects people? Nobody is perfect, but we can program AI to be attentive to our mindsets, which also affect our sentiments, and how we see the world. For we see the world not as it is, but as we are. I asked ChatGPT How AI can help people become better humans, and this is the response I received....

"AI has the potential to help people improve their skills and capabilities in various ways, but it is important to recognize that AI is just a tool and cannot replace the value of human compassion, empathy and ethical decision-making."

If AI could assist us by helping us play the better human game, that might be a big step. Beyond absolute truth, or falsehood, there lies doing what is morally imperative. As we enter this potentially wonderful new year, what kind of people do we want to be, not what toys do we want to own. Can AI help us find what is of greater value in terms of quality, over quantity? We have enough of the Sam Bankman-Frieds of the world whose overwhelming value to society was determined by their net worth, and how much they could "make" us. Does collecting wisdom and actionable knowledge within a game as valuable to collecting gems or weapons? 

Seems to me there is a huge niche to be filled in the compassion, empathy and moral decision-making areas of our lives. Maybe there is an app for that, there certainly is a need.

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

15 Dec 2022

Metaquette #VIrtualTV #CommercialTelevision #Television #Entertainment #metaverse #MetaverseTV Q28

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

A Post from the Past. As we wrap up 2022, it is interesting to look back into our archives for potential grail. This was written over 10 years ago by an incredible scholar CarrieLynn D. Reinhard with whom I have co-authored papers on Television in the Metaverse. 
Entertainment is one of this spaces big offerings, and how we utilize The Metaverse will change the landscape.

Q: How will Virtual World TV in the Metaverse change and challenge Commercial Television?

(Originally published April 19, 2013 by CarrieLynn D. Reinhard in Scholarly Musing.)

Tonight I attended a lecture by Sut Jhally, media and culture critic, on television that was sponsored by Concordia University and Dominican University. Dr. Jhally may be most known for his Media Education Foundation videos, such as Tough Guise and Dreamworlds, that work to critically analyze the media messages and industries that populate and permeate our pop culture and mass society. He spoke to the largely undergraduate student audience about the need to understand the profit-driven logic of a commercial media industry, like television in the United States, to understand the messages produced through such media and our relationship to the messages and the media.

Jhally made the argument that we are currently in a situation where the predominance of advertising, that which fuels commercial television, is akin to the virtual reality construct of The Matrix in the film trilogy of the same name. Like those humans being used as batteries by the robots, we television viewers are active laborers in our living rooms, producing for the commercial television industry through our attending to advertisements. It is through our laboring by watching ads that the television networks can sell airtime to advertisers and thus make a profit from producing television.

To Jhally, we are labor for the media industry, who capitalize on our labor by selling it to advertisers, and then we are paid for our labor by the television shows the media industry produces for us to enjoy. He argued that media systems are defined by what they take from us, which is our productivity.

But then does that mean we are defined by how we produce for the system? Do we not have the choice of whether to propagate or resist through our actions? Currently, for Jhally, our only role within the system is to be as products and not producers. While we may labor, our labor is what is produced; it is our product, and it is sold to the advertisers. Television sells to the advertisers our watching: we are not creating anything to sell except through our act of watching. We are, as Dallas Smythe put it, “audience-as-commodity”, or the newer version “audience-as-transmitter“. And as long as we continue to watch that which we enjoy without critiquing and challenging our relationship to television, then we will continue to be in The Matrix, receiving programming that cares little for our well-being and that may reflect a reality we do not want.

It’s why, after awhile, all of television starts to look the same…

Now, he and I both agree that new technologies make the media industry freak out and readjust their practices in order to maintain the logic of their system, i.e. their control over the means by which they generate profit. The television industry has had to adjust to remote controls, VCRs, DVRs, online streaming, and fan activities.

And now we get to why I am bringing up Jhally’s lecture on this blog. This blog is dedicated to the discussion of television production in the virtual world Second Life. Here we are dealing with a new technology — the social medium of virtual worlds — that in some ways the television industry has toyed with for marketing purposes only, bringing Heroes into Habbo or The Office into Second Life. The industry has had little consideration of this medium as a potential source for distribution and exhibition, let alone production, of television programming. Instead, individuals who could be considered amateurs or semi-professionals have taken up that aspect of the television industry, remediating aspects of the industry while forgoing the replication of other aspects.

So, then I ask you, could VWTV be the next challenge to the television industry? Another potential “freak out”?

Jhally argued that we need to take back television through what he called a revolution on the factory floor, or our living rooms in which we are laborers for the industry. Could VWTV be this revolution?

With VWTV we are seeing the turn from consumers of television to producers of television, changing the productivity in relation to television. The VWTV producers are no longer merely the products of the television industry, attentive eyeballs to sell to advertisers. They are now producers within a television industry, with their labor resulting in a product that is television programming. Television programming is no longer just their wage for being “good viewers” who stomach commercials and product placement; it is their product, to do with as they please. VWTV allows those who might have only been “audience-as-commodity” or “audience-as-transmitter” to truly become “audience-as-agent” by becoming prosumers.

So when Jhally asked how do we make the system more democratic and bring in more voices — well, I thought to myself, perhaps with VWTV. If you want more cultural participation, then what better place to start looking than a participatory culture built within the social medium that is a whole new world, a virtual world.

Or, if I might add.......in the Metaverse.

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

7 Dec 2022

Metaquette #Metaverse #VirtualDebate #AI #Humans #Competition #Debatable Q27


Tips & Tricks for negotiating the Metaverse with.................Pooky Amsterdam

The image for this blog comes from a book I authored long ago yet was recently able to fully illustrate with the help of Mr. Gerald Terveen, someone I know from that megalith of our times known as Facebook. His use of the image -generating AI known as Mid-Journey, with prompts inspired by my old drawings with Platos words, produced these adorable pictures for my 18-word book called Plato For Preschoolers, a chunky book attempt made years ago for young people fed up with train-plane-red-yellow-blue. Seeing my own daughter needing something else to wrap her young and formidable brain around brought me to this, but it lay waiting for 27 years, until Mid-Journey delivered what you will see if you click that link. For me, AI provided something great. It made me think, these images are from an entity which will never have children of its own, however these images are it's mind children!

And when I showed it to someone I highly respect, though I have never met her in real life either, her comment was thus: What will happen to artists? Will they be replaced in their jobs by this type of "fast food" in art? I found these questions so interesting and worthy of debate as we can't put the genie back in the bottle. Will AI inspire or discourage? And what better place to have a discussion on this than in the new virtual frontier? Because it's all about what you DO in The Metaverse, and this is interesting content.

Q: Is The Metaverse a good place to have a debate?

Yes for many reasons: It is easy to access; You can speak openly, good ideas are triggered by what others say; You can use media and/or URL's to support your opinions; the debate can take place in real time and it can also be streamed, recorded and broadcast. Right now there is no ongoing debate within the Metaverse, as people are too busy debating The Metaverse itself.

How could this be done?

The Metaverse would need to have communication, in either voice or chat, most of them do.

A place for the speakers to be able to talk without interruption, and for a limited amount of time.

Moderation tools would need to be in place,  to move the debate along yes, but also if someone was disruptive; they could be banned instantly for griefing or rudeness.

There would need to be a prize for the winning team, perhaps, though any kind of voting system could record support for the Pros & Cons. Or there could be a judge.

And opening up Zoom, recording the screen where the Metaverse is playing out would be one great way to have film of this. Or livestream with YouTube. It is an exciting possibility, and one I'd be happy to explore with you, if you are interested, because this topic does interest me greatly, and we should ask, is this good or bad? We are human and can and need to talk about issues that concern us.

What if what you are doing can in no way outshine what a machine can do? I am not talking about the power of a Dyson vacuum cleaner, or the washing machine in your basement, but on artistic merit. Are people going to be still interested in creating excellent works of art in these days of Goblin Mode? 

(Actually one of Oxford's new words of the year, the other being Metaverse, naturally!)

For everyone who fears that machines will become so talented that they replace the human desire to create, there are those who think AI is a font of inspiration and can help us achieve much more. Where and how can we have a real conversation about the pros and cons that face us in the now, and in the future? In the Metaverse we can express our fears and hopes on this topic in real time, with those who are probably vested in this more than the general population.

It isn't just imagery, but also writing as AI becomes so profoundly capable, humans remain profoundly predictable and increasingly there are more AI news article generators available, because sometimes one wants to do a blog but doesn't have the mental or time bandwidth. AI can come up with seamless articles, movies and even animation made strictly with text to image. Even comedy, witness Botnik's funny bones(?) written about in an article from 2017. How about both? This movie was 100% made with AI. Click here to see how it was done.

The new app which has everyone enthralled is Lensa - we are visual creatures us humans, and somehow take great pleasure in seeing our own faces, and nothing like augmenting those for more beauty. We do it through cosmetic surgery, filters, make-up and a variety of ways. Now we have a new way, an it takes just moments, but the rise of it is sparking issues of creator rights. StableDiffusion seems to have found a happier medium though.(Ah if only we were more concerned with the inside....but to date - there is no magical app for that!)

And check out what AI-Da said in November before The House of Lords...."AI poses a threat and an opportunity for creativity."

We know that AI can beat humans in chess, but we still play chess, we know that DeepMind can beat human Stratego players , we still play Stratego. But those are games, what about ART? And deep in my mind I believe that Van Gogh would still have painted even if he could have prompted a machine to illustrate "Sunflowers" or "A Starry Night" because the human need to create, that is what we see in our minds eye and share it with other humans is too strong, and too much a part of us.

(I just wish someone would ask all this AI how to save the world, but we don't want a machine to tell us that, do we? We would rather figure it out on our own........right? And even as I get ready to post this article, I have to ask myself if an AI could have written this?)

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


1 Dec 2022

#Metaquette #VirtualSummit #WorldWeb3 #MetaConference #Metaverse Q26

Tips & Tricks for Negotiating The Metaverse with.................................Pooky Amsterdam

WorldWeb3Summit 2022

While The Metaverse has exploded, with seemingly daily zoomings about this verse or that verse, podcasts appearing in proliferation and truly important conferences to attend, the best place to have a summit about The Metaverse, might actually be within one. Proof of concept is made in the doing & seeing more often than not. On a riff of the old parable....You can tell someone about The Metaverse, but if you can show them how to use it they will be able to enter themselves....and grow.

Q: How effective is The Metaverse for large scale meeting with many speakers?

It can be extremely effective as the Cause for being in The Metaverse is met with the Effect of gaining information, connection and ground in your chosen area. And sometimes even more importantly, finding inspiration and that missing link you needed. We gain this by exposure to others in the interesting tangential organizations of this space, sometimes quite by chance. There is a great chemistry in The Metaverse, it's place for networking yet on an Epic scale, because materials are available which can enlighten and ignite some genius moments. The ultimate Virtual Water cooler, where proximity to all is all plus there are all kinds of different people, talking about all kinds of fascinating processes. Business be happening here. 

Last week, as this blog would have mentioned, there was a conference I spoke at. WorldWeb3Summit 2022 gave evidence that the virtual look and feel gives weight to hosting in The Metaverse.  Businesses had their speakers as well as a metaphysical presence whose outposts still remain in Spatial.  Speakers represented experienced next wave Metazens on the newer skill sets needed. Diego DuPont, the organizer provided great feedback as well. Content highlights also provided by the organizer included some interesting numbers. 

There were about 4,000 people between Spatial andAnchar's construction of Earth, for 26 speakers, 28 session, 47 Exhibitors and over 9,000 booth visits which averaged almost 200 per exhibitor. The Summit was well hooked up with Eventbrite, Voila Events and first class European design teams.  There were almost a thousand live avatar driven attendees. And although the numbers might not seem like a lot, and marketing / influencers are an important next step, but this has to begin on an approachable scale, so we can learn and build. For that, the Summit was a great success.

There is also a charitable alliance here, which gives another dimension ot how important these conferences can be. Not only in reducing carbon footprint and time / expense associated with travel, but in raising awareness and money for worthy causes, such as this education initiative in Gambia with the goal of helping millions of children get the computer skills they need.

Right now it takes nerves of steel to put together a 6 day long Metaverse Summit with 26 Speakers and 28 Sessions. This was a live event,  one cannot pull this off in The Metaverse without sufficient passion, knowledge and patience too. It was made of so many moving parts, it takes a lot and team Diego really pulled it off. With some log in difficulties the first day, it is really necessary to have lots of technical support, and they did. The audience wants ease of movement, the Speakers want connections to audience, Steamyard got very favorable reviews, 50% wanted the Summit twice a year, 43% wanted it annually. A successful conference means everyone wants to return and over 90% did. 

Meetings, Conferences, Summits, Retreats and more represent an organic growth movement for those of us who love The Metaverse both wanting, and needing to meet there. You need real experience to pull it off.