Vladimir Okhotnikov is a leading expert in artificial intelligence, cryptocurrencies and blockchain, developer of large-scale IT projects and IT influencer.
Vladimir Okhotnikov on artificial intelligence as a new marketing trend
The term “artificial intelligence”, aka AI, has become one of the most popular in IT-world. And this is not only journalism and theoretical research, many quite practical applications claim to use AI. However, in the vast majority of cases, claiming artificial intelligence is a marketing move. It sounds attractive: “artificial intelligence works on you”! In reality, the program uses a simple script that selects from a set of ready-made templates and can professionally present results.
In fact, the term “artificial intelligence” is still ambiguous. The philosophical-abstract concept of “intelligence” should not be confused with the corresponding technical term. According to the latter, it is true that individual developments may be called “artificial intelligence”, although many researchers consider the term “neural-network” to be more appropriate.
«Artificial intelligence is often used as a marketing slogan without real technological content. Even in the top AI we can’t say that we’re dealing with intelligence. I agree, it is the neural network, but it is too optimistic to call it artificial intelligence… I guess we’ll have to wait a few more years …»
Even if we discuss the names of modern developments, the current progress allows us to say with certainty that in the foreseeable future we will see a full-fledged artificial intelligence capable of fairly accurately emulating human thinking. Moreover, it is possible that the machine intellectually surpasses humans.
Let us not dwell on the problems and risks of this process, this is an issue of a separate and very serious study.
Let’s focus on an applied problem: how AI is applicable for managing such large and complex systems as Metaverse.
Metaverse: a new level of interaction between IT systems and users
Metaverse is another new term that has moved from science fiction to a new technological reality. Since the Great geographical discoveries, mankind has been faced with nothing more to discover. There are no more unknown continents and undiscovered oceans. Having found ourselves on a deserted island, we always have a chance to stumble on the office of a travel agency. This is boring!
Now, imagine: you have the opportunity to create a new world! Let it be digital and illusory, but in terms of perception, it will not be very different from reality.
These are just psychological motives that determine the public’s interest in Metaverses. For business, this new super-interactive format is a unique marketing tool capturing the full attention of the audience. As a result, practically all serious IT (and not only IT) companies are developing their own Metaverse. If giants like Facebook focus on global projects and spend billions of dollars on super-Metaverse development, smaller companies focus on local projects.
At its core, Metaverse is a complex digital object requiring maintenance and quality control. Ideas to entrust the management of new digital spaces to artificial intelligence sounds quite harmonious. Would that be the best solution?
«Now we see the initial stage of the Metaverse format development. This is still a toy that has got into our hands, and we are trying to figure out what to do with it. Most Metaverses developers deal with this topic simply by following the general trend. “Everyone develops, and I develop it!” Typically, users expect to wow-effect made by Metaverse. We already understand that the functionality of Metaverses is much higher than such primitive marketing, but we do not yet understand how great it is. A practice will show it…»
Before choosing the methods, we should define the principles and tasks of Metaverse management.
Here it is necessary to separate management of “physics” (technical infrastructure) and “society” (control of user behavior). If we draw analogies from the “real” world, in the case of “physics”, the manager assumes the functions of nature, and in the case of “society”, the State.
The management system of “physics” should ensure the existence and observance of “laws of nature”. It’s not going to be creative; it’s going to follow hard algorithms. The tree does not hesitate to sway in the wind, it acts according to physical laws. The management of “physics” does not require intellect in either the technical or the philosophical sense. However, AI-systems will certainly be in demand during the development of Metaverse.
AI: Metaverses social control
In Metaverses social management, there is some definite demand for AI implementation. The superhuman mind is supposed to be able to establish a truly just society. An intellect devoid of emotions and personal preferences is the ideal ruler… is that so?
Let us begin with a simple and obvious fact: by trusting the management of society to machine (albeit intelligent) we easily abandon several millennia of the social evolution of our civilization. We declare democracy null and void and voluntarily accept the transition to dictatorship.
«If we decide to transfer power to artificial intelligence, even if not in reality, but in Metaverse, we automatically forget about democracy. I am not saying that this is good or bad, just stating a fact. We must be aware of the consequences of our actions. Perhaps we are now preparing for a new social order, and the rule of an artificial supermind is a natural stage in the evolution of our civilization. But are we ready for this? I’m not ready so far. I don’t want to give someone my rights…»
We don’t give assessments, we just talk about the need to really understand the current situation. Are you ready to delegate power to artificial intelligence in the hope of obtaining wise decisions aimed solely at the public good? It’s a matter of discussion.
In fact, the main request to the Metaverse manager, like to any ruler, is a request for justice. And justice is defined in fairly simple terms such as: adequate laws and regulations, equality before the law and unconditional implementation of laws.
If the task is to be formalized, adequate laws and rules must be developed to create an ideal “digital ruler”, their unconditional implementation must be guaranteed and a positive perception of the “ruler” must be ensured.
Developing Metaverse legislation is a complex task, but solvable and quite technological. However, the implementation and, especially, gaining the trust of the audience can become problems. And it is unlikely that artificial intelligence will help, it is necessary not to look for complex solutions, but simply, we need boring and monotonous work according to a given algorithm.
And then the blockchain technology comes to the rescue.
Blockchain: Justice Comes First
The current development of the blockchain technology has provided developers with a unique tool for solving application problems. This is just the ability to create guaranteed and indelible scenarios (smart contracts) and a high level of trust of users (all the initial conditions and actions are absolutely transparent).
Blockchain has a unique property of decentralized control and management. This means that there is no single control center, the solutions are strictly regulated by scripts. Nobody can interfere with the execution of scripts, even their developers. Here it is also possible to organize the most objective and democratic voting procedure for making decisions on principled issues.
«Blockchain is really a unique tool. Well-known cryptocurrencies are just a small part of blockchain capabilities. It can be used to create sophisticated digital systems, including Metaverses. We make our own laws and enforce them. If the law is created, it is unchanging and obligatory for everything. You can refuse to perform it only in one case – if you leave Metaverse. If you are in it, you must obey the rules …»
The use of blockchain technology allows us to establish and monitor compliance with legislation that defines social and business relationships in Metaverse. Smart contracts define the structure of mutual rights and obligations, and guarantee their unconditional implementation.
Blockchain or AI?
If we are talking about the Metaverse control system, it is not quite correct to compare Blockchain and artificial intelligence.
Blockchain does not make independent decisions, does not analyze. In fact, it is a register of rules and templates of their execution. Meanwhile AI really “thinks”, analyzes and makes a decision. At the current level of technology, such “intellectual thinking” is not an advantage.
The logic of the blockchain is clear, transparent and does not imply deviations. But the logic of AI is not obvious, and it is risky to trust him “remote control” of the Metaverse.
However, AI has a niche that it has already occupied in the real world. This is an advisor, consultant and assistant, which can be used both in creating Metaverse, and in solving a variety of creative tasks by users.
So, while competition is unlikely to be viable, it is more likely to be about synergy.
«Blockchain is a self-contained technology which can be implemented for the creation of digital worlds. Do you trust artificial intelligence to control them? Even if this is technically possible, there are still questions of ethics and psychological comfort. I am not ready to accept the absolute power of the machine, even in virtual space. And you?»
In the future, when the AI enters a new intellectual level, it will most likely take over management… however, then it may not be only Metaverse.
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