If you've yet to develop healthy coping mechanisms for the heartbreaking — and deeply human — experiences of loss and grief, maybe don't bother.
According to one metaverse CEO, the introduction of OpenAI's ChatGPT may well speed up the process of getting a realistic, AI-powered digital avatar of your dead loved ones to market, way ahead of schedule.
"The AI is progressing extremely fast," Somnium Space CEO Artur Sychov, whose company is currently working to develop a "Live Forever" mode for robot avatars in its "virtual reality world," told Motherboard. "Honestly, it is progressing faster than even we anticipated."
Somnium Space's maybe-forthcoming "Live Forever" feature is simple, at least in theory. Hand Sychov's firm a bunch of personal data, and they'll create a digitized "you," which will "live" "forever" in the company's hallowed metaverse halls. You could die knowing that your kids and grandkids and otherwise loved ones would be able to communicate with this interactive version of you, and those loved ones, in turn, would never be forced to entirely accept your death. It's not the Jeff Bezos school of physical immortality, but it's certainly immortality lite.
"Literally, if I die — and I have this data collected — people can come or my kids, they can come in, and they can have a conversation with my avatar, with my movements, with my voice," Sychov told Motherboard in a previous interview last April. "You will meet the person. And you would maybe for the first 10 minutes while talking to that person, you would not know that it's actually AI. That's the goal."
At the time, Sychov told Motherboard that "Live Forever" was at least five years away. Now, per Motherboard, Sychov has chopped his imagined timeline down to two years or even less, and it's all thanks to the work of OpenAI. The company's buzzy chatbot has apparently pushed the immortality project into hyperdrive, even providing a step-by-step plan detailing how to integrate itself into the broader landscape of Sychov's digital world after being installed into one of the game's robot avatars.
But its development skills aside, Sychov and a developer that he works with — that developer, known only as "Artific," was actually the one who installed ChatGPT into that first avatar to begin with — argue that their timeline jump is mostly due to the fact that the metaverse provides ideal conditions for a Large Language Model (LLM) product like ChatGPT to succeed.
The tech is already a pretty good conversationalist, depending on the prompt. And unlike the messier real world, a digital environment is more controlled. Thus, the bot only has so much data to work with and synthesize at once, which could actually be a good thing — especially if the goal is to embody a specific person.
"It's a perfect condition for AI," said Sychov, "because it can learn from every digital object instantly."
And while the developers are reportedly struggling with how to "adequately store the data recordings" required for "Live Forever" avatars and other in-game robots to function as they wish, they claim they've already been some strides with the bots' capacity to "remember," at least in their short-term, as well as in their ability to sound a bit more human.
You know, because digital avatars of lost loved ones speaking by way of bots — bots that in turn are trained on limited, context-less data — is exactly how to preserve their humanity.
READ MORE: Founder: You'll Soon Be Able to Talk to Your Dead Mom In the Metaverse Thanks to ChatGPT [Motherboard]
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