In a new book, AI expert Catriona Campbell suggests that it won’t be long before people begin to raise virtual children in the Metaverse as the cost of child-rearing rises. What seems like a nightmare scenario to some is a positive to the author, who says that virtual children “could help us solve some of today’s most pressing issues, including overpopulation.”
The Telegraph reports that a new book from AI expert Catriona Campbell titled AI by Design: A Plan For Living With Artificial Intelligence paints a worrying future for the uses of artificial intelligence. Campbell believes that within the next 50 years, many people will have digital children in the Metaverse powered by AI.
“Virtual children may seem like a giant leap from where we are now,” she writes, “but within 50 years technology will have advanced to such an extent that babies which exist in the metaverse are indistinct from those in the real world.” Campbell adds: “As the metaverse evolves, I can see virtual children becoming an accepted and fully embraced part of society in much of the developed world.”
Campbell suggests that high-tech active feedback gloves will allow users in the Metaverse to reproduce physical sensations like picking things up, cuddling, feeding, and even playing with their digital children.
The AI expert argues that environmental factors may factor into people choosing to have digital children as the environmental impact of the Metaverse would be less than millions of children worldwide. Campbell referred to the digital pet craze among Western children in the 1990s and early 2000s with the introduction of Tamagotchi digital pets.
“We’re already well on our way to creating the Tamagotchi generation which, for all intents and purposes, will be ‘real’ to their parents. On the basis that consumer demand is there, which I think it will be, AI children will become widely available for a relatively small monthly fee,” said Campbell.
“Make no mistake that this development, should it indeed take place, is a technological game-changer which, if managed correctly, could help us solve some of today’s most pressing issues, including overpopulation.”
Read more at the Telegraph here.
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