When Facebook rebranded itself as Meta and boldly claimed the metaverse was here there were many who were excited about the potential successor to the mobile internet. One year later and that bold claim has not panned out. Metaverse traction has not taken off in 2022 and its catalyst, NFTs, have also fallen flat following new revelations regarding the limitations of the technology and the corresponding crypto winter.
So is the metaverse completely dead? Despite a tumultuous year, the idea of a metaverse is still promising. If delivered, the metaverse promises enhanced digital experiences through immersion and real-time interactivity. This promise along with positive tractions in Web3 development and steady innovation in technology is what keeps the dreams of metaverse dream alive.
Metaverse & Creator Economy
We live in a time where billions of images and videos are uploaded to the internet every day. Our demand for digital content has resulted in digital media monetization and content creation being a legitimate career. For content platforms and creators, the metaverse represents new and exciting opportunities to innovate in creation.
One of the potential driving forces to the metaverse and its creator economy is Artificial Intelligence (AI).
The Rise of Artificial Intelligence and What it means for the Metaverse
For a long time, AI was a buzzword ignored by the general public. In 2022, AI innovation has reached a point where it cannot be ignored. With AI music composers and AI image generators putting their works out on social media, it has become apparent that AI is here!
The metaverse stands to benefit from AI adoption as it signals rapid development and world building. Yassine Tahi, co-founder & CEO of Kinetix states:
“Generative AI is an incredible opportunity for the metaverse. For us, it’s the biggest game changer and will drive adoption and engagement with virtual worlds … the benefits are twofold: professionals can iterate and build new experiences, and users can extend their skill sets and suddenly become virtual creators.”
Artificial Intelligence Concerns
The disruptive nature of AI technology has grabbed the attention of artists and commentators. Many argue that AI Image generators endanger their livelihoods and take advantage of their creations to “train” AI models. The ease with which AI image generator output pieces can devalue certain artistic aesthetics. Additionally, there is concern surrounding whether or not original artists should receive compensation for their works being used as training data. Advocates of AI art say it is a tool that assists creation unlike cameras and digital art software. In a metaverse sense, AI digital asset generation, if left unchecked can result in virtual impersonation and can be the source of rampant misinformation and distrust.
While these concerns are legitimate, AI technology itself is not at fault. The responsibility always falls on the tools user and highlights a need to have standards in place to protect the rights of creators and consumers.
Transparency in Digital Media
The AI-generated image dilemma is very similar to the issues surrounding traditional digital media. Digital media on the web today is heavily scrutinized due to out-of-context use and digital asset theft. They sit idly on the sidelines while parties with varying interests on the internet debate in vain its validity and trustworthiness. The solution to the fruitless debate is transparency.
If we know the origins of digital media, who the creator is, the full edit history, and any associated licenses it is possible for digital media to represent itself without the need for any external factors. AI-generated content stands to benefit from transparency as well. Knowing the keywords utilized, what training data was used and whether or not the training data was protected can clarify the issues surrounding the creations and give credit where credit is due. Additionally, a full record of which parts of the creation are AI-generated and which parts are the work of humans can help to provide a more nuanced understanding of the creation.
Creators stand to benefit from transparency as well as it affords them protections and a means of verifying works. From a metaverse perspective, it would be beneficial to have access to this information in order to verify potential impersonators as well as verify the authenticity of creations before investing resources into them.
Numbers Protocol brings transparency to digital media
Giving digital media transparency is precisely what Numbers Protocol does. Numbers Protocol is a digital media library and indexing system that aims to provide a more transparent outlook on digital media. It starts with Numbers ID (Nid). Every piece of digital media registered with Numbers Protocol is given a unique identifier that can be called upon to access digital media files on decentralized storage as well as digital media information archived on the blockchain.
Powering Numbers Protocol is the Numbers Blockchain. Numbers Blockchain facilitates the core functions of Numbers Protocol mainly the archiving of committed media history of Web3 assets. Numbers Blockchain changes digital assets from untraceable and unverifiable entities into standalone entities capable of “speaking” for themselves through accessible and transparent records. Numbers Blockchain achieves this by generating a unique identity of the digital media, which is also known as the content ID in the Filecoin/IPFS ecosystem. Key information such as on-creation metadata (location, timestamp, other data regarding creation circumstances), creator information, asset changelogs and licenses are stored onto the blockchain to assure the integrity of the digital media.
Numbers Protocol & AI Art
The AI conversation is an opportunity to evolve the protocol to address new mediums of digital asset creation. At a basic level, Numbers Protocol can be a means of differentiating between AI and human creativity. This can be done with a transparent certificate process utilizing Numbers Protocol.
By using Numbers Protocol to register each piece of AI-generated art to Web3, it becomes possible to clearly identify and track the provenance of the work. This certificate could include information about the specific AI system or algorithms used to create the work, as well as any human involvement in the creative process.
The use of Numbers Protocol for this purpose has several benefits. First, it provides a tamper-proof and immutable record of the work’s history, which can be accessed and verified by anyone with access to the blockchain. This ensures that the provenance of the work can be clearly established and that there is no doubt about the authenticity of the certificate. Second, the use of Numbers Protocol allows for the creation of a decentralized and transparent system for tracking and verifying the provenance of AI-generated art, which reduces the risk of fraud or misattribution.
Overall, the creation of a transparent certification process using Numbers Protocol has the potential to increase trust and confidence in the AI art market, and to ensure that AI-generated works are properly credited and compensated. It also has the potential to promote a greater understanding and appreciation of the role of AI in the creative process and to encourage further exploration and experimentation with the use of AI in the arts.
Numbers Protocol Metaverse Impact
It is convenient to say that the adoption of Numbers Protocol has no negative impacts as the transparency it affords to digital assets creates trust and confidence in a digital space rampant with distrust. However, one drawback is it may stifle creativity. Registering assets into the Numbers ecosystem is not standardized requiring extra steps in the creation flow. Additionally, in order to have its full effects felt, a great deal of adoption needs to be achieved. For this to happen, much awareness and understanding need to be achieved.
At Numbers Protocol, we understand the reality very much which is why we are making great efforts to create strong partnerships with up-and-coming digital media companies who share the same vision of creating a trustworthy web3 and metaverse.
AI is here to stay and from a protocol health standpoint, it is important to make strides in improving its coverage even as technological innovation happens. If 2022 brought AI into the limelight, 2023 is when steps will be made to help address the concerns surrounding the technology through proof of concepts and collaboration with AI companies and AI artists.
We hope you are excited as we are to learn and improve upon Numbers Protocol technology and ecosystem.