Intelligent petri dishes will enter the metaverse: from avatar to animat.

Virtual reality is redefining the notion of identity and may even extend it to intelligent petri dishes.

We may one day evolve into a metaverse populated by entities whose intelligence is organic but whose body is only virtual.

About the avatar

Before you soar into the metaverse, it’s important to map out your digital identity. Therefore the first step will be to create your avatar. The latter is a three-dimensional representation associated with your identity in the metaverse. The term refers to a transformation 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 also create multiple avatars if you want to change them.

There are many platforms to create your avatar. For example, the gatiplayerme solution offers fairly high compatibility with metaverse diverse and an interesting realism. Note that your avatar is your virtual embodiment. It will follow your gestures and face. Thus, during exchanges with other avatars, they will perceive 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 as in real life, it will affect your feelings, your experiences and the perception of others. It is very likely that your avatar image affects your self-confidence and self-esteem. Also, your involvement in social groups can be determined by this avatar. It is an integral part of the metaverse experience.

Note that you can create several avatars and change them as often as you like. So you can have an avatar in your image and other more fantastic or in accordance with an image you wish to have. Virtuality gives us a chance to remain ourselves by becoming someone else!

You will be able to change your virtual appearance from head to toe. Clothing and other accessories can also be selected. It is possible to buy digital artifacts provided by brands (glasses, shoes, clothes) in order to connect them to your avatar and take them everywhere with you in the virtual universes. These items are often in limited quantities or even unique: in this case, they are NFTs. By getting it, you will be able to go through virtual environments in style.

Brands and creators are gradually finding their place in the metaverse, especially to offer avatar customization with quality accessories. We can quickly imagine the multiplication of virtual stores. These articles will contribute to the reinforcement of the virtual identity which plays an important role in the acceptance of this technology.

About Animation

However, science has already gone a step further by creating an animat: an avatar driven by a biological neural network. An avatar whose intelligence is biological but whose corporeal envelope is only virtual.

This involves developing a neural network on substrates in the laboratory. Cultivation of neurons is carried out in networks, making it possible to capture and send electrical activity to regular points. The culture of neurons on a substrate makes it possible to obtain a two-dimensional organic neuronal network, whose connections are built 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 dating from the turn of the millennium, the authors of the California Institute of Technology will take an amazing step, that of neural network-controlled animation. This is to control a virtual animal by the activity of a very real neural network. The virtual mouse is placed in a fairly simple virtual room, allowing it to move. The system then measures action potentials in the biological neural network and transcribes them into the action of the mouse in the room. Meetings with virtual walls are reflected in the network.

Ultimately, the analysis of spatiotemporal patterns obtained in this way may allow a better understanding of the learning mechanism. At this stage, the observations made by the researchers do not appear to provide fully usable data, but the effort is as remarkable as it is disturbing.

To finish

One day we may evolve around entities whose intelligence is truly organic but whose body is only virtual. Metaverse will be able to take advantage of advances in brain-machine interfaces. In particular, those of the Neuralink firm co-founded by Elon Musk in 2016. Man virtualizes himself by injecting with each new advancement a little more of this natural reality into electrical circuits.

To know more: The world of the metaverse: The practical guide to discovering web 3.0

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