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The Metaverse

Stanford University_052922A
[Stanford University]

- Overview

The Metaverse is an iteration of the Internet part of shared virtual reality, often as a form of social media. The metaverse in a broader sense may not only refer to virtual worlds operated by social media companies but the entire spectrum of augmented reality. The term arose in the early 1990s, and has come to be criticised as a method of public relations building using a purely speculative, "over-hyped" concept based on existing technology.

In the vision for the metaverse articulated by social media and technology companies, devices like virtual reality headsets, digital glasses, smartphones, and other devices will allow users access to 3-D virtual or augmented reality environments where they can work, connect with friends, conduct business, visit remote locations, and access educational opportunities, all in an environment mediated by technology in new and immersive ways.

Facebook has changed (in October, 2021) its name to "Meta" in a shift away from social media and towards developing "the metaverse," a digital world that could be the next generation of the internet, as a virtual environment that will allow people to be present with each other in digital spaces.

Within the metaverse, you're going to be able to hang out, play games with friends, work, create, and more. You're basically going to be able to do everything that you can on the internet today as well as some things that don't make sense on the internet today, like dancing.


- Ther Metaverse and Web 3.0

The term ‘metaverse is a portmanteau that combines the worlds ‘meta’ and ‘universe.’ It is used primarily to refer to an anticipated future iteration of the internet that’s often hailed as Web 3.0. This evolution of the internet is expected to see the rise of online 3-D or virtually integrated environments that provide users access to virtual reality and augmented reality experiences.

The metaverse is a vast virtual space that connects people in the physical and digital worlds. Like Web 3.0, the metaverse allows you to control your identity, data, and assets. However, we should think of the metaverse as a more open, decentralized, and interoperable version of the internet, which includes immersive interactions with technologies like XR, blockchain, 5G, and artificial intelligence.


- Artificial Intelligence

Artificial intelligence (AI) is a way for computers to perform tasks that normally require human intelligence. It is the development and use of algorithms, programs and systems capable of self-learning, reasoning and correction.

Scientists develop AI by studying how the human brain works and by simulating cognitive processes (i.e. thinking). You can usually consider AI if it can replicate three basic skills: 

  • Learning: AI recognizes patterns or relationships in data. For example, this could mean gaining the ability to distinguish objects in pictures from their backgrounds. 
  • Reasoning: AI makes informed decisions or predictions based on data. This is how a chatbot answers a question or your email inbox filters potential spam. 
  • Self-correction: AI continues to improve its performance over time, remembering mistakes or bad outcomes to avoid in future iterations. Practice makes perfect!

Not all AI is created equal. Some machines are better at performing these skills than others, and they could, in theory, one day become sophisticated enough to perform any intellectual task a human can. Such artificial intelligence is known as artificial general intelligence (AGI).


- AI and The Metaverse

[More to come ...]



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