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Wednesday, March 29, 2023


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Meta/Zuckerberg only associated the word Meta/Metaverse to something laughable, sadly. VRChat at least is about as popular as SL, but more lively. Roblox and Fortnite have the opposite approach than traditional social worlds: a game first. And it's true they and others grew a lot, but how people consider them? I guess most people see them as just plain games. So they don't notice. As most things, reality isn't either black or white, Pac-Man or Snow Crash, though. And even traditional MMORPGs can have a social side, character customization, and be experienced in immersive ways; real life friendships and sometimes partnerships can start there as well.

The new mobile viewer has some potential to relaunch SL a little, even better with the planned new newbie avatars, considering that mobile-based or worlds that have a mobile client (Roblox too) are many times more active than SL now. It depends on how good the experience would be and how the Lab manages to position it among the several mobile competitors now. At worst it would be useful for many that have to rely on abandoned mobile viewers (Lumya) or sub-par or bare-bone ones.


As for ChatGPT, I won't use that as a search engine. The artificial neural networks don't memorize and retrieve data exactly as a database and also hallucinate, so they aren't so reliable for that task. GPT-4 using a search engine (i.e. Bing Chat or GPT-4 + plugins) instead works better: essentially an AI that uses the search engine for you and summarize the contents. Not stellar - and you still have to check the linked sources to be sure that the chatbot didn't hallucinate something (well, with humans too...) - but you can save some time and the model could also infer something by putting things together. I'd better compare those models to assistants. They help in many different ways and new applications come up every day lately.

Transformers-based models, such as GPT is growing since 2017, as they become better and better and more coherent. More they improve, more the applications. But even as just as a search assistant, it can be impactful: Google is hastily trying to catch up, so far with mediocre results, afraid to end up like Kodak.

In the meantime, ChatGPT reached about 100 million users in January and topped 1 billion visits from 153 million unique visitors in February.
To this you have to add further millions that are using Bing Chat (based on GPT-4).

Therefore I wouldn't dismiss this too quickly and it isn't necessarily following the same patterns of NFTs, crypto-coins, VR goggles (or 2006 Second Life, for what that matters).
On the one hand, you have those things that have little practical usage, if any (if not a sort of scam) and you have niche products that again aren't entirely practical or not easily available or not at hand.
On the other hand, ChatGPT and Bing Chat are as easy to use as any web site on your smartphone. Readiness and ease of use shouldn't be underestimated. These models are even meant to make your life easier.


"By the time they realize that ChatGPT is really just an incremental improvement to Google Search (basically)"

---- not quite. Ted Chiang the SF writer has possibly the best description on what ChatGPT actually does, and the news is not good. Read the whole article, the scariest part is near the end. https://www.newyorker.com/tech/annals-of-technology/chatgpt-is-a-blurry-jpeg-of-the-web

John P

Unreal Engine has the lead now, by miles.

Just imagine soon there will be UE 6.0 then 7.0
Not sure about Unreal Editor for Fortnite (UEFN)a new PC application for designing, developing, and publishing experiences directly into Fortnite, but it will evolve. MetaHuman is amazing, Now add Blender and Adobe Substance Painter. Linden Labs can't compete with all that money and developer talent.

Just imagine a new way of realtime animation with avatar touchpoints, fingers, lips. etc and AI for realtime dances, Say: Prompt Make a 5 min Salsa dance with MetaHuman, Me and female metahuman, Ginger partner follow.


I think it would be nice to include platforms like Habbo into those "histroy of the metaverse" lists. They were what drove me and lots of my then companions to SL as we grew older and were able to afford decent hardware. We rebuild Hogwarts with hundrets of rooms in one of those so called Retro Hotels and had a big RP community that lasted into the early 2010s. The size and activity there was something SL roleplayers could only dream of, it was big even in the official Hotels despite the giant price tag.

Martin K.

> Here's Why March 2023 Is The Month Which Launched Metaverse 2.0

I admire your optimism. I'll wait until 2024 before making that call. ;)

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