Virtual reality is changing the idea of identity and can even extend it to intelligent Petri dishes.
We may one day evolve into a metaverse inhabited by entities whose intelligence is organic, but whose bodies are virtual.
About the avatar
Before you fly into the metaverse, it’s important to form your digital identity. So the first step is to create your avatar. The latter is a three-dimensional representation associated with your identity in the metaverse. The term refers to a change or metamorphosis of a person or thing. Your avatar can be true to your image or completely different. In a way, your avatar expands and enriches your personal identity. It’s yours and it’s up to you how it looks. You can even create multiple avatars if you want to change them.
There are many platforms to create your avatar. For example, the readyplayerme solution offers a fairly large compatibility with different metaverses and an interesting realism. Note that your avatar is your virtual incarnation. It follows your movements and your face. So, during the exchange with other avatars, they will see you in your new costume.
We advise you to create an avatar that looks like you so that your friends (and yourself!) can recognize you. Do not neglect the appearance of the latter, because like in real life, it affects your feelings, your experiences and the perception of others. It is very likely that the image of your avatar affects your self-esteem and your self-confidence. Also, your involvement in social groups can be determined by this avatar. It’s an integral part of the metaverse experience.
Note that you can create multiple avatars and change them whenever you want. You can have an avatar of your image and others that are more imaginative or consistent with an image that you want to have. Virtuality gives us the opportunity to remain ourselves while becoming someone else!
You can change your virtual look from head to toe. Clothes can also be selected as well as other accessories. It is possible to buy digital artifacts offered by brands (glasses, shoes, clothes) to associate them with your avatar and take them everywhere with you in virtual universes. These items are usually in limited or even rare quantities: in this case, they are NFTs. By getting it, you will be able to cross virtual environments in style.
Brands and creators are gradually finding their place in the metaverse, especially to offer customization of avatars with quality accessories. We can easily imagine the proliferation of virtual stores. These things contribute to the strengthening of the virtual identity that plays an important role in the acceptance of this technology.
Yet science has already taken a step forward by creating an animat: an avatar driven by a biological neural network. An avatar whose intelligence is biological, but whose physical envelope is only virtual.
This includes the development of a neural network on laboratory substrates. The culture of neurons is made in grids that make it possible to capture and send regular points of an electrical activity. The culture of neurons on a substrate makes it possible to obtain a two-dimensional organic neuronal network whose connections are established in a few hours and whose spontaneous action is observed after a few days. This can be done by taking samples of rat hippocampus and cortex cells.
In their work dated from the beginning of the millennium, the authors of the California Institute of Technology will make a surprising step, which is in the animat controlled by the neural network. This is to control a virtual animal from the activity of a real neural network. The virtual mouse is placed in a simple virtual room, allowing it to move. The system then measures the action potentials of the biological neural network and transcribes them into the action of the rat in the room. Encounters with virtual walls appear on the network.
Finally, the analysis of the spatiotemporal patterns thus obtained may allow a better understanding of the learning mechanism. At this stage, the observations made by the researchers do not seem to provide fully usable data, but the effort is as remarkable as it is concerned.
One day we may evolve around entities whose intelligence is actually organic, but whose body is virtual. The metaverse will benefit from advances in the work of brain-machine interfaces. In particular, those of the strong Neuralink founded by Elon Musk in 2016. Man virtualizes himself by injecting with each new development a little more of this natural reality of electrical circuits .
To learn more: The world of the metaverse: The practical guide to discovering web 3.0