Recently there has been a lot of discussion around the singularity. And whether we soon will be entering a phase where artificial general intelligence will become reality. However, before we delve deep into the philosophical and ethical implications of singularity. We have to understand what it really is, its actual limitations. And why it may happen in a way that is different than anticipated.
Singularity is the notion that the exponential acceleration of technological development will lead to a situation where artificial intelligence supersedes human intelligence and will eventually escape our control. Some even predict catastrophic consequences for humanity where machines will become the dominant species on this planet.
This may seem a bit far-fetched, at least for the near future, given that advancements in hardware development and robotics are not catching up with the software when it comes to artificial general intelligence. However, one can argue that the recent hype and developments surrounding the metaverse will definitely open the door to the rethink of Singularity. But what is the metaverse, and why is it such a big deal?
The next internet
Recent market analysis has estimated that the metaverse market opportunity could be around $800 billion by 2024. This could be seen as an expected meteoric rise for the metaverse, given such an estimated market size; however, the question that many people are asking is, what is the metaverse?
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Presently, there isn’t a single definition; if you think about today’s internet as a virtual two-dimensional (2D) space where you can produce and share content, create value and connect with anyone anywhere, then the metaverse may be thought of like a virtual three-dimensional (3D) space where you can do everything that you can do in today’s internet while being fully immersed—through virtual reality (VR)/ augmented reality (AR)—in that space exactly as you would be in the real world, but in a virtual realistic graphics-driven manner while being able to interact, connect, transact and create with others.
Simply put, existing in the metaverse is the equivalent of living inside the internet. This opens the possibility of the creation of a new world, a new economy and new possibilities.
The term decoded
The next phase of the internet is approaching fast, which is taking cyberspace by storm. The metaverse, simply put, is the tech world’s parallel to the real world.
Oxford dictionaries define it as a virtual-reality space in which users can interact with a computer-generated environment and other users.
Metaverse, a portmanteau of meta (meaning transcendent), and verse (from the universe), will allow a greater overlap of our physical and digital spaces.
In these alternate digital realities, people can work, play, and socialize. Imagine, instead of attending a music concert physically, your digital avatar checks into it and derives all the joys associated with the event. Till now, mostly restricted to the gaming world, in the metaverse of the future, people will lead their lives just as in the real world. You will be able to teleport yourself for a vacation or a work meeting without moving in reality.