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Slowing down the development of AI and its impact on the metaverse.

Recently, Italy’s watchdog in charge of data protection has announced that it is hindering the use of the artificial intelligence chatbot, ChatGPT from OpenAI, and opening an investigation over suspected breaches of data privacy guidelines.

The data protection agency has ordered the immediate limitation of data processing for Italian users by OpenAI, as it appears that the company is illegally collecting personal data and most importantly without any system to verify the age of minors accessing the system.

The Italian agency highlighted that this was a response to the recent data breach that the AI platform suffered on March 20. The agency noted a lack of legal basis justifying the mass collection and storage of personal data by AI as it trains its algorithms. The agency also stated that the information given by the ChatGPT doesn’t always reflect accurate data and determined that there may be inaccuracy in processing personal data.

All of this comes during a couple of days when the Future of Life Institute released a petition to halt further AI developments. It appears as a very successful campaign where people like Musk, Wozniak, and other tech leaders signed it quite promptly.

The petition from the Future of Life Institute to halt further AI developments is a significant event in the ongoing debate over the role of AI in society.

The fact that prominent tech leaders signed the petition quickly indicates that there is growing concern about the potential challenges coming from the mass use of AI.

However, it's important to note that not all experts in the field share the same perspective. Some argue that AI has the potential to bring about significant benefits in fields such as healthcare, transportation, and education. It's also worth considering that many AI developments are still in their early stages, and it may be premature to call for a complete halt to all further research and development.

Ultimately, the debate over the future of AI will likely continue, and it will be fundamental to develop deep research programs on studying the ethical, safety, and security implications of the use of generative AI to balance the potential benefits with the potential risks.

These two recent events are posing a series of interesting questions related to AI, however, we are well aware that AI by itself will be not as disruptive as AI in combination with other technologies.

As an example, AI combined with virtual reality, 3D animation, and blockchain in the metaverse, can provide several disruptive developments.

A recent study from UCL under Prof. Anthony Steed showcased the potential of #ai in generating conversational agents and voice-controlled texture generation methods in virtual environments.

How about imagining an avatar, animated by a generative AI bot that responds promptly to your questions?

Would you trust that avatar, without knowing that behind it there is no human being but only and algorithm?

This is just one of the limitless ethical questions that will drive the research study and development of best practices, guidelines, and standards that will safeguard users and support businesses with an ethical development of digital, virtual, and immersive environments that are empowered by good generative AI.

To jump-start this process and accelerate the design of a metaverse that is ethically empowered by AI we founded the Metavethics Institute, a community-driven independent think tank dedicated to establishing ethical policies, best practices, and standards across accessibility, integrity, privacy, safety, diversity, equity, and inclusion.

Our vision is to enable sustainable ethical, and inclusive efforts for technology-driven organizations by securing access for people of different ages and abilities, guaranteeing socio-economical access for people from developing countries, improving its use in K-12 educational, working, or entertainment contexts, and addressing the needs of historically marginalized communities versus non-underrepresented minorities.

We believe that there should not be only a conversation about how big the door to access the metaverse is, but more about how the door could be opened by different people by emphasizing the sense of belonging and helping them to understand how they can be part of something new.

Do you want to become a Metavethicist?

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