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The Metaverse Needs to Prioritize AI

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Read more about author Daniela Braga.

As companies begin to enter the metaverse and shape their activity in the future of the internet, we must look at the fundamental ways by which we’ll connect and interact with each other in this new space. In order to create the connected world that the metaverse is working towards, language and AI-powered translation systems must be taken seriously. With different visions of the future digital world emerging – from massive virtual worlds to commerce channels and marketplaces – AI will play a massive role in the way that consumers interact, discover, and create content in the metaverse. If the metaverse is ever going to be a place individuals are consuming at high rates, we need to be able to utilize technology that makes the experience accessible and understandable for all people globally.

AI’s Role in the Metaverse

AI can promote automatic translation and understand individual’s accents and native languages, so cross-cultural communication can take place. The metaverse has been described as a “real-time, activity-based Internet,” with platforms that include features like virtual worlds, a fully functioning economy, and endless scalability, along with a synchronous and open culture. AI’s role in the metaverse is relevant not only for the future of products and services that are provided but also as a means to make the metaverse more inclusive.

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With immersive experiences being an expected feature of the metaverse, we must ensure that social interactions are as accessible as possible. Social interactions in the metaverse have the potential to impact many demographic groups, including people with disabilities, those with a low level of digital capability (e.g., typically users from older generations), and for those who only speak certain languages. In order to be able to use and enjoy the social economy and experience of the metaverse, implementation of responsible and inclusive AI has to be a top priority.

Creating Inclusive and Accessible Infrastructure

If the key to the success of the metaverse is through highly immersive experiences, then developers must use AI models that are built to create a more accessible environment, especially for minority or marginalized communities around the world. Accessible and responsible AI can be a fundamental building block for the metaverse to expand outside of populations that already have access to highly immersive experiences. 

Some of the specific technologies that AI can provide to create more immersive experiences include image recognition software for people with visual disabilities, and technology that allows for automatic translation. A cultural exchange through immediate translation will transform the way we view the global economy, potentially creating one marketplace, as opposed to cross-border finance. This can also help communication expand with communities that have similar interests but may have a language barrier, like fans of a certain musical group.  

Digital worlds that simulate the real world will necessitate the use of avatars and AI voice technologies where consumers can experience interaction as though there was a person right next to them, as opposed to obviously communicating through a device over a vast distance. AI that’s inclusive by nature can also be used as a tool to create safer spaces by monitoring language that’s used by participants in the Metaverse. For example, AI that monitors and prevents hate speech to make experiences more inclusive for marginalized communities, safer for children, and creates a world that people of all backgrounds can safely participate in. 

AI to Build a Better World

It’s clear that as the digital future continues to grow closer, and more and more consumers gain access to the tools of the metaverse, that AI has the power to create something that accounts for inequalities in the physical world. With the prospect of immersive experiences and a true, global social economy at our fingertips, by developing AI products that make the metaverse more accessible, it’s possible to have a world where we can operate without bias. With responsible and inclusive AI, communities who have been marginalized in the real world can live and have experiences in the metaverse that won’t replicate their real-world hardships. I’m looking forward to seeing how much more progress we all can make by putting bias-free AI first, and making the metaverse inclusive for all. 

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