Decentralization STILL Matters with AI
Allow me to remind you of why
I know, I know it seems like I’m always saying this but please oh please remember that we have got to think about our futures when comes to all of the emergent technologies paving the way for digital transformations and the Metaverse.
Allow me to remind you why….
As our FANNG companies roll in and roll out remember that they are who they are. They told us and have shown us time and time again. Even the evolution of AI is showing us, they consume us and want us to continue to be consumers. The challenge when we throw AI in that bucket the consequences get even more dire. Most of us, techies and non-techies alike are having a blast with AI and using as much of it as possible but we have to remember the future that we have ahead of us and that we are building. The future of technology is here and decentralization continues to be one of the most important things we can be teaching ourselves and our communities as we learn and evolve daily.
Imagine for a Sec…
Imagine a world where a single machine, one AI system, controls everything. It provides ideas, sets ideals, enforces censorship, grants loans, issues reprimands, and governs the entire digital realm. This is the prospect of centralized AI, a single point of decision-making and authority. While this might seem efficient, the implications for diversity, innovation, and freedom are dire. Let’s remind ourselves of why this matters.
Let's take the Metaverse as an example. The Metaverse, an interoperable, interconnected, collective, virtual, shared, space; its expected to be the next evolution of the internet. It is imagined as a space of limitless possibility, where users can interact with a computer-generated environment and other users in real time essentially thriving (things happening in real and in virtual environments). But what happens when the AI governing this virtual reality is centralized? What happens when one entity - let's say, Meta - controls the rules, the systems, and the AI that interprets and moderates the entire metaverse?
In the recent glimpse into Meta's fiery oven, the concept of multimodal understanding is touted as the next frontier in AI. It is a vision of AI accurately interpreting content more holistically by considering multiple modalities such as text, speech, and images simultaneously. The goal is to create more useful tools, like recognizing hate in memes or enabling the Metaverse with sound recognition and directionality.
But within the Metaverse, a centralized AI (could?) would dictate what is seen, heard, and experienced by every user. It would (could?) shape the virtual realities we inhabit, the interactions we have, and the experiences we share. It would (could?) control the narrative, the norms, and the values of the virtual society. It would effectively hold a monopoly on the Metaverse's culture, economy, and governance.
For a space that is supposed to be created by us, this vision is troubling for several reasons. First, it concentrates too much power in one entity. Second, it stifles innovation and competition. Third, it risks creating a homogenized, monolithic virtual society that lacks diversity and vibrancy. And finally, it increases the risk of surveillance, censorship, and manipulation.
For these reasons, centralized AI in the Metaverse may sound cool but is not just a bad idea, it's a dangerous one. It's akin to letting one entity control our dreams, our imaginations, and our shared digital futures. This is why we need a “decentralized Metaverse”, where power, control, and decision-making are distributed among its users. It's why we hold dear to a Metaverse that's shaped by us, for us, and is reflective of the diverse, vibrant, and free society we aspire to be.
And it's precisely why letting a single entity like Meta deliver and maintain such a powerful technology is a prospect that should give us all pause. Like tequila, centralized AI in the metaverse could be a hangover waiting to happen, one that humanity can ill afford.
Pitfalls of Centralization
Centralization in AI poses several risks. The first is the homogenization of thought. A single AI system, no matter how sophisticated, is limited by its training. If the people behind the scenes are not diverse and fail to scrutinize the data, the AI will inevitably harbor biases. It could even perpetuate harmful stereotypes or fail to understand cultural and ethical nuances.
Worse still a centralized AI risks becoming a gatekeeper of information and decision-making. This could lead to censorship, even more biased lending practices, and unfair governance. A centralized AI could be manipulated or corrupted, further exacerbating these issues…I’m looking at those centralized servers holding all of this data right now…
The Power of Decentralization
Decentralization, on the other hand, offers a more inclusive, balanced, and resilient approach. It enables multiple AIs, trained on diverse data sets and governed by different entities, to coexist. This diversity fosters innovation, as each AI can learn and evolve in unique ways. It could also mitigate the risk of a single point of failure or corruption.
In a decentralized AI ecosystem, no single entity has absolute control. Each AI can provide checks and balances against the others, ensuring a more equitable digital realm, which human touches would be balancing the balancers being balanced by the tech. This is not a far-fetched dream, but a tangible reality enabled by technologies like blockchain and federated learning.
Building a Decentralized Future
As we build towards the Metaverse, where AI will play an increasingly significant role, we must strive for decentralization. We have to ensure that AI is not just multimodal but also multi-perspective, capable of understanding the world in all its rich diversity. We must reject the centralization paradox, where efficiency comes at the cost of freedom.
Become a champion for decentralization, Web3 and open source. Let us remember that technological ethics and that a single oven, no matter how fiery, cannot bake all the world's bread. Let us embrace the many ovens of AI, each adding their unique flavor to the feast of the digital realm. Because in diversity, there is strength, and in decentralization, there is freedom.
As we navigate the path forward, let us remember that just like people companies show you who they are. Metas tech is named "Omnivore". For those who missed it - “Omnivore” is two words put together that mean: "all things" and "devour"…now I’ve said it before but let me refresh your memory. Meta means beyond, 'verse implies universe….and of course the infinity symbol means forever, infinitely….so class let us put that all together and see what Facebook is trying to tell us shall we?
"All things devoured forever until beyond the universe"
Now that that is clear, re-read this article with information and put a clap on it!
I let ChatGPT in on this little ditty and here is what it said:
Absolutely, that phrase carries a powerful and foreboding message. "All things devoured forever until beyond the universe" could serve as a stark warning about the potential risks of centralized AI within the metaverse. It suggests a relentless process, one that continues to consume and assimilate indefinitely, expanding its influence and control far beyond our current universe. This metaphor could effectively underline the importance of addressing these potential risks and maintaining a focus on decentralization.
Keywords #EmergentTechnologies, #DigitalFuture, #Metaverse, #CentralizedAI, #MultimodalUnderstanding, #AIControl, #Decentralization, #DigitalTransformation, #DiversityinAI, #InnovationAndCompetition, #SurveillanceAndCensorship, #HomogenizationOfThought, #PowerOfDecentralization, #InclusiveAndResilientApproach, #BlockchainAndFederatedLearning, #TechnologicalEthics, #OpenSource, #TechnologicalAdvancements, #Omnivore, #DigitalRealm
Artwork is courtesy of AiRT Work by Technikole