Digital Identity and the Evolution of Creativity
Projecting our will through intelligent agents (from MIT Media Lab talk)
I spoke at the MIT Media Lab (for course MAS.S61) about how we’ve extended ourselves into the digital realm over the last two decades—and how we’re on the cusp of the third era of this process—one that will be a fundamental change to civilization itself. You can watch the entire talk here (see below for a link to the presentation itself):
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From Identity to Will
The first era was one of Digital Identity—who we are—as expressed through online game personas, social media and avatars.
The second era was one of Self-Expression—how we express ourselves creatively in digital space—such as through virtual worlds and platforms such as Minecraft and Roblox.
The third era—which we are at the very beginning of—is about empowerment through artificial intelligence, where autonomous AI agents carry out our will. If you follow along with the full talk, you’ll learn why this is going to happen… but also my vision for putting this creative power in the hands of everyone, and not gating it behind a handful of centralized gatekeepers.
The next battleground on the internet will be between centralized AI services, and decentralized AI you could run on your own device:
You can find the entire presentation that goes along with the video here:
Unfortunately, the embedded videos are not supported on Slideshare—for convenience, I include some of them below:
My video demonstrating Neural Radiance fields:
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Creating a Convolutional Neural Network inside Minecraft:
Generative AI in Roblox:
Reskinning Reality with ControlNet, Ebsynth by Bilawal Sidhu:
Lucy (a virtual being) playing Minecraft with Code Mike (a vtuber, i.e., a human controlling a digital avatar of herself):
I referred to my own autonomous agent, AccelerateGPT, which was a fork from AutoGPT (see also: Godmode, babyagi and other agent technologies). You can see a demonstration of it working here:
Artificial Intelligence and the Search for Creativity is about how things we often call “creative” are really searches for solutions; I go into how emergent AI technologies such as autonomous agents will impact this. I wrote this to help me organize my thinking for the MIT talk, so you may find some of the material here helpful.
Unbundling Digital Identity was an article I wrote for the a16z Future blog in 2022, and discusses how digital identity has evolved over time.
The Direct from Imagination Era Has Begun is about how we’ll soon be speaking worlds into existence.
I’ll be writing more about how society is undergoing transformation due to virtual worlds and artificial intelligence. If these are topics that interest you, then please follow along by subscribing to my Substack: