According to a recent Bloomberg Intelligence report, the metaverse is an $800 billion market. Still others argue about what the metaverse actually is, but with so much money and curiosity surrounding it, everyone is talking about it.
AI will undoubtedly play a big part in the metaverse, especially as we interact with others. Although we will be more connected than ever, AI that is not tied to any government, standard or code of ethics can have diabolical implications. As former Google CEO Eric Schmidt recently asked, “Who sets the rules?”
Understanding the implications of AI
Because AI algorithms are built by biased people, they can be created to follow the thinking patterns and biases of their creators — which can then multiply. We’ve seen how AI can create gender bias, for example, or how AI can give greater credit card limits to men than women, or how certain ethnicities are more prone to unfair bias. To create a thriving and more equitable metaverse, dark AI patterns that can create and perpetuate bias must be addressed. But who gets to decide? And how can people avoid prejudice?
The solution to reducing this “uncontrolled AI” is to develop ethical standards for all organizations. In our opinion, dark AI patterns can be invasive. Most AI is developed without ethical oversight, and this needs to change in the metaverse.We need to make sure that language AI is trained to be ethical as well.
Using AI to translate messages in the metaverse
As an avid language learner and founder of a company that uses AI and humans to connect people worldwide, I’m excited by the prospect of everyone becoming super polyglot – able to speak multiple languages - but I’m even more interested in understanding how that AI will work.
In the metaverse, many users will likely communicate in their native language, with potential AI-based language translators. Language technology powered by AI can perpetuate bias if we’re not careful. We need to make sure that language AI is trained to be ethical as well.
Imagine that Joe’s avatar wants to talk to Miguel’s avatar, but Joe and Miguel don’t speak the same language. How does AI translate their messages? Straight away? Or are we translating for the person’s intent rather than literally so that the person receiving the message can understand?
Blurring the lines between man and machine
How ‘human’ we are in the metavers will matter. Businesses can use language technology to quickly translate interactions into different languages, which can help build online community, trust and inclusion.
However, if we are not careful about the words we choose, technology can also create prejudice or enable uncivilized behavior. How so? Have you ever heard a 3-year-old talk to Alexa? Personal is not the word for it. When people know they are interacting with technology and not real people, they don’t feel the need to be polite. Instead, customers are rude to chatbots, Amazon’s Alexa, and automated phone lines. The list continues. In an ideal world, the AI for language will capture the nuances and empathy needed to accurately represent a human, making the metaverse a place where humans and technology thrive together.
Impersonal AI in the metaverse can also be negative. The right language can create a real, emotional connection and understanding. With AI-powered language edits, the right message can help make a brand more human. The technology that can help brands communicate instantly in many languages will be crucial. We believe that customer trust is built by the mother tongue. But how can a borderless, virtual society have a mother tongue? And how can that environment create trust?
As I mentioned earlier, the metaverse has huge potential for companies to gain more exposure in a virtual world. People are already serious about shelling virtual fashion, and this trend is only going to continue. Brands need to find ways to create online experiences that feel authentic or even better than face-to-face interaction. That’s a high bar to exceed and smart language communication will be part of that journey.
What the metaverse will eventually look like is a mystery. However, no one wants to be the brand remembered for how their AI has disproportionately affected one group of people over another or how their AI dehumanizes their product. AI will continue to get better at predicting patterns for good. However, if AI is left unchecked, it could have serious consequences for how we “live” in the metaverse. Therefore, a responsible or ethical AI ethics is necessary.
When AI powers language, chatbots or the virtual reality of brands, there are countless opportunities to lose customer trust or sense of humanity. It is up to AI researchers and experts to work with brands to find solutions for responsible AI frameworks so that we can ‘live’ peacefully in the metaverse.
This post In the metaverse, responsible AI should be a priority – TechCrunch was original published at “https://techcrunch.com/2022/03/04/in-the-metaverse-responsible-ai-must-be-a-priority/”