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Live as NFTs in the Metaverse

Jhe metaverse isn’t just about creating realistic virtual experiences, it’s about enabling hyperreal experiences. It’s the process of creating personalized content based on data, or the things people do and say and what it reveals about them.

In a sense, the hyperreal is not just a goal, but potentially a necessary end state of the metaverse. Scaling immersive digital experiences for billions of people will only be possible when content creation is automated with artificial intelligence (AI). Hyperreality occurs when we interact with photorealistic digital content that looks exactly like real life – it’s so immersive that the distinction between “real” and “digital” is less important than the experience itself. In this way, hyperreality is an extension of reality and not just a lower resolution “digital version”.

Tom Graham is CEO and co-founder of Metaphysic as well as the developer of Every Everyone, an AI platform for creating hyper-realistic NFT-based avatars and managing metaverse data. This article is part of “Metaverse Week.”

The ways AI can use facial and voice biometric data – and our preferences revealed in that data – will not just recreate our preferred physical environments online, but will transform them. In this scenario, it’s all about building tools that help take back control of our digital lives and experiences.

The Metaverse promises that everything from work meetings to parent-teacher interviews will take place in photorealistic virtual worlds that look exactly like our homes, schools and offices. We will interact with each other as embodied photo-realistic avatars. There will also be game worlds and fictional universes – we can be whoever or whatever we want.

As this hyperreal metaverse emerges and our avatars merge seamlessly with who we are in real life, we need to stay in control. We need to protect our identities and own the deeply personal biometric data used by AI models to build and animate our realistic avatars.

In effect, Web 3 adds a user-centric ownership layer to the existing “read/write” Internet. Non-fungible tokens (NFTs) will play a vital role in enabling more realistic forms of content participation and lead to the creation of new digital economies. Eventually, the Internet Web 3 will become “read/write/own”. NFTs and blockchain technologies are essential pieces of the tech stack that will allow ordinary people to create and own their own hyper-realistic synthetic avatars in the metaverse.

In the future, each person will have an NFT in their wallet which will be linked to their sensitive biometric data stored offline. These NFTs will provide the basis for our persistent virtual identities. We’ll sign in to experiences like “3D Immersive Zoom” and “Hyperreal FIFA 2025” using our wallets, just like we use “Sign in with Google” today.

However, this is a radical departure from the relationship people have with their data in Web 2 paradigms. Blockchain will allow users to verify their identity in the real world, control access to their data biometrics and consent to how they are rendered in hyperreal content.

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It also allows us to participate directly in a new wave of virtual economies. For example, we may track our participation in virtual events and be compensated both for the data we create online and for a portion of the advertising revenue or brand activations we make possible by participating in a metaverse experience.

We will also be able to bring our personal datasets to build more representative and realistic virtual worlds. When we are part of a content experience, it is reasonable for us to participate in its financial benefit. That’s the power of Web 3.

The new data property

Since the birth of the Internet, we have lost control of our data in two ways: gradually, then suddenly. For a long time, the only people who cared about data ownership were activists who watched in horror as companies build toll booths on the information highway and start extracting value from people’s personal data.

With the rise of social media and the Web 2, it has been impossible to ignore how big tech has amassed unimaginable treasure troves of personal information, often without our knowledge or truly informed consent. Who really reads the terms and conditions?

For many people, giving up control of their data is an easy choice. The Internet services and products we use daily are endlessly convenient, and our personal data is the price of admission. Web 3 offers a revolutionary window of opportunity where we can claim our hyper-realistic virtual identities without having to cede our personal data to centralized third-party platforms.

Many questions remain unanswered regarding data security in Web 3, such as the possibility of restoring our identities if we lose our keys. Likewise, it’s critical that the high-resolution biometric data that personal avatars are based on doesn’t end up in the hands of every company or developer that creates virtual experiences in the metaverse.

The concept of extending our individual sovereignty into virtual space without being beholden to corporations is a powerful idea.

If the metaverse is going to become a seamless extension of physical reality and more, we will need to enable persistent and portable versions of our virtual selves. We don’t have to switch identities when we go to a friend’s store, office, or party in the real world and the same should be true in the metaverse.

While we may have multiple versions of our hyperreal avatar that allow us to play around with our identity, such as creating younger versions of ourselves or portraying ourselves as a different gender, these hyperreal creative permutations are all based on our world data. real, our personalities and desires.

When we securely store our personal data in NFTs, we are able to transport that information through virtual spaces in the metaverse. At the same time, NFTs give the user full control over when and how that personal information is used by third parties. We can prove that we are who we say we are in any context without requiring that we first reveal sensitive personal information.

Hyperrealistic NFTs like these can become a decentralized, user-controlled identity verification platform embedded into the structure of the metaverse.

This transition to hyperreality is already well underway. Those working to secure personal data with NFTs are paving the way to a metaverse where our virtual selves have all the characteristics we value in our flesh-and-blood identities. This is because our physical selves are non-fungible, and under ideal conditions we are in control of our bodies and our actions. Now we finally have the technology to allow ordinary people to protect and control who they are and what they do in the metaverse.

See also: Web 3 and DAO in 2022

But the more realistic the metaverse becomes thanks to advances in technology, the more we have to consider who we are “becoming” in an internet that looks and feels like the real thing. The hyperreal metaverse might be more Web 3.1 than Web 3.0 – explained as the emergence of a “read/write/own/be” Internet.

If the digital worlds we inhabit look exactly like they were filmed with a camera on location and are populated with photorealistic versions of ourselves and our loved ones, is it still the internet?

Or are we creating a seamless extension of reality that forces us to “be” ourselves beyond the confines of the physical world? Or are we creating something a little more than ourselves?

More on CoinDesk’s “Metaverse Week”

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.


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