Meta, formerly known as Facebook, unveiled a prototype of an AI system that allows users to create or import objects into a virtual world just by speaking orders. The “Builder Bot” tool, according to the business, is an “exploratory notion” that demonstrates AI’s potential for creating new worlds in the metaverse. In a pre-recorded demo film, Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg demonstrated the prototype at the Meta AI: Inside the Lab event.
By illustrating the process of creating portions in a virtual environment, Zuckerberg explained in the video: “Let’s go to a park,” he says. The bot then constructs a three-dimensional environment of a park with green grass and trees.
“Actually, let’s go to the beach,” Zuckerberg suggests, as the bot transforms the existing landscape to one of sand and water. He goes on to state that he wants to add clouds and that everything is generated by AI. The environment is subsequently changed when Zuckerberg says he’d prefer to have altocumulus clouds, which is designed to show how precise the voice instructions can be.
The bot then makes an island by pointing to a specific section of the water and saying, “Let’s add an island over there.” Following that, Zuckerberg offers a series of vocal orders, including the addition of trees and a picnic blanket. He even throws in a hydrofoil at one point, a tribute to one of his favorite hobbies that ultimately became a joke.
The Builder Bot appears to be using voice commands to make 3D things and place them on the landscape throughout the demo. Meta stated in a blog post announcing the prototype that it will “spark innovation in the metaverse,” but provided no technical details.
If effective, the technology could have ramifications for other VR environments and platforms. For example, in recent months, the game platform Roblox has been experimenting with voice functionality and offers its own developer platform. It’s fascinating to consider how a company like this might one day employ Meta’s prototype technology for a comparable world-building experience.
However, in its current state, Builder Bot’s universe is fairly simple in terms of appearance and functionality. While speaking orders to have items materialize may be entertaining at first, it is not a scalable technique to create more complicated 3D scenes. If anything, it may be a great kids’ playground for learning how to create virtual worlds.
The announcement of Meta’s prototype comes at a time when the business is investing billions in the metaverse. Meta released its Reality Labs division’s financials for the first time earlier this month, revealing that it lost more than $10 billion last year. The firm stated that it anticipates losses to increase this year, implying that Meta has virtually limitless funds to spend on expanding the metaverse, and certainly has plenty of time to do it ahead of other smaller enterprises. Because of the company’s significant investments in the metaverse, we should expect to see more prototypes aimed at furthering the metaverse.
Although a true “metaverse” may not yet exist, Zuckerberg and Meta have been using the term a lot in the last year, and it even spurred the company’s recent corporate branding makeover. The metaverse, according to Zuckerberg, is a “virtual environment where you may be present with others in digital areas.” You may think of it as an embodied internet that you can interact with rather than just gaze at.”
In other related news, Mark Zuckerberg thinks VR could fight climate crisis.
Photo via Meta