Subtitled by Matthew Ball new book “Metaverse” makes a bold statement: “It will revolutionize everything.”
But Ball, a venture capitalist and former Amazon executive, has less to do with proof of a coming revolution than with a belated overarching explanation. how it will happen. The book expands on itmetaverse tutorial”A series of essays published last summer (notably ahead of Meta’s big rebrand) that explore the technological changes that will characterize and are required to create a fully immersive 3D internet.
I called Ball this week to talk about misconceptions about what the metaverse really is. iswhy the largest corporations in the world – and The ball itself – how much money is being invested in it, and what role can real-world regulators play in shaping the mentioned “revolution” in the digital world. The following is an edited version of our conversation:
What inspired you to write “Metaverse Primer” and why do you think it’s important that people outside the industry understand the technology?
My experience with Fortnite and Roblox in 2018 has led me to believe that this is starting to become a practical business opportunity. Over the course of three years, I learned a lot about these complex issues that are of the utmost importance to the world economy, whether you believe in the metaverse or not, about what networks can do and about problems that computing processors can and can solve. So I just decided to formalize it in a primer.
One of the problems with the wording of the metaverse right now is that it’s most often described as “Ready Player One,” much like how we used to talk about the Internet as the World Wide Web or “information superhighway.” This is inadequate and leads to the fact that we sharply underestimate its value. Seven of the 11 largest companies on earth, the big five technology companies, as well as Nvidia and Tencent, dedicate their businesses, their organizational models, their capital expenditures and their product lines to this.
It’s easy to discount it because it looks like a game; it’s easy to discount, because no one can say for sure what the future will look like. But I wouldn’t underestimate how seriously the largest and most capitalized companies on Earth take this, in part because they’ve learned from the transition from mainframe to PC and from PC to mobile to the cloud that the laggards are being squeezed out.
What are the incentives for these large, highly competitive corporations to create a system that is “interoperable”?
The global economy is becoming more and more open every year. We see a greater mobility of goods, people, capital, and we comply with a growing share of standards: the metric system, the US dollar, English, intermodal shipping containers. It also shows that there is never a single standard, there are often many different standards.
When it comes to the metaverse, we expect similar advances with the utility of combining different communication protocols, allowing virtual assets to be more easily reassigned from one environment to another, and allowing the economy to span more than just one experience that could be a flash. Pan. This will be essential to increase consumer spending and business investment, and we are already starting to see growth in interoperability.
Two weeks ago Metaverse Standards Forum was founded along with Microsoft, Meta and [graphics company] Unity and [“Fortnite” developer] Epic, the majority of wireless technology providers, and now they have about a thousand other signers.
What role should regulators play in developing these standards?
One is to ensure that the market is open so that any participant can follow the business models, technologies and expertise they need, and not be cornered by a competitor that does not.
In South Korea Ministry of ICT established the South Korean Metaverse Alliance, which brings together about 500 companies ranging from refrigerator manufacturers to banks, gaming services and automotive companies, to try to directly facilitate interaction. Individual companies will be adversely affected from time to time, but national investment and the national ecosystem of the metaverse must be stronger – and there is an implicit bet that a stronger hand will provide an advantage over Western companies that often struggle to forge the partnerships that their weaken. individually. Most people have come to the conclusion that regulatory action has been insufficient, resulting in too many unintended consequences over the last 15 years. I believe that a stronger hand in shaping the future – not just in standards, but in setting different expectations for moderation, toxicity, radicalization – is important as the metaverse grows and time spent online becomes more important than it is today. Its cultural influence will be greater, so I think it is the responsibility of the government to be more involved, and more active than reactive as it has been in the last decade.
Stated Rationale for Research Funding in the CHIPS Bill makes its way through Congress is that technological innovation is not only a virtue in itself, but also the basis of global competitiveness.
And while US politicians fear losing our global dominance, Europe is tired of falling behind. As POLITICO’s Louis Westendarp reports from Europe, a German-led group of corporations and universities are coming together to kick-start what they call Major European AI Models. Their goal is to create a supercomputer that could drive an artificial intelligence model that could, if not surpass, then at least enter the top ten Chinese and American systems that process hundreds, if not billions. parameters.
However, this is not fast enough for the German supporters of the LEAM project. Philipp Slusallek, professor at Saarland University and founder of the European artificial intelligence organization Claire, told Louis that while the future supercomputer should be open to research for all Europeans, the push should “come from the German side, because it takes too long.” at the European level.”
You are smarter than artificial intelligence (that is, trained on a voluminous amount of texts by one of the leading modern philosophers of mind)?
A group of philosophers led by Eric Schwitzguebel of the University of California, Riverside, recently posed this question to the public by running public experiment where they trained a large OpenAI GPT-3 language model at work Daniel Dennett, whose work at the intersection of philosophy and cognitive science often dealt with artificial intelligence. They then asked a series of philosophical questions to both the AI and Dennett himself, and formulated a quiz where the unlabeled responses are presented to the user, who is then asked to distinguish the real response from the fake one.
The questions include some fundamental philosophical questions such as “What is ‘I’?” and “What does evolution mean for our understanding of morality?” One question even gave Dennett/GPT-3 an impression of the work of David Chalmers, whose book Reality+: Virtual Worlds and Problems of Philosophy we covered at DFD. earlier this summer.
You can still take the quiz, but the study is now officially closed as Schwitzgebel and company have collected enough responses to start an academic analysis, so if you want to test your philosophical ability or AI detection instincts, you’ll have to email the researchers directly . for your results. (Full disclosure: I only got four out of ten.)
Stay in touch with the entire team: Ben Schrekinger ([email protected]); Derek Robertson[email protected]); Konstantin Kakaes (ur.[email protected]); and Heidi Vogt ([email protected]). Follow us on Twitter @DigitalFuture.