By Evangelia Manika, Associate LL.B MSc.
The use of AI in the metaverse, although it can bring many benefits, may also raise ethical issues as currently most AI is developed without ethical oversight. A key ethical implication surrounding AI in the metaverse is the bias of people creating AI algorithms so that those algorithms are developed in a way that follows their creators’ thought patterns and principles. As a result, AI systems may increase the discrimination based on characteristics such as gender. It is therefore crucial for AI systems to be created in a way that minimises the risk of bias. Moreover, AI decision-making transparency is another significant ethical issue. Given that AI systems often make decisions based on complex algorithms and data sets that are difficult for users to understand, it is important to ensure by default that such systems contain transparent decision-making processes, so that users can trust those systems. Furthermore, the creation of digital twins may raise concerns about privacy, security and protection of personal data. Numerous personal data are collected for the creation of digital twins, such as, inter alia, a person’s name, age or location. It is thus important to ensure that there is no risk of unauthorised access by other individuals as well as the storage of such data should take place only on secure and storage media while the data subject should always have control over how their data is used. Overall, when using AI in the metaverse the applicable data protection legislation must be totally observed (e.g. obtaining the subject’s consent, compliance with technical and organisational measures, existence of appropriate data protection policies). It is also important that companies operating in the metaverse must adhere to certain principles in order to create a safe environment for users (e.g. setting up a special registration procedure for underage users). At the end of the day, the use of AI in the metaverse must be safe and ethical!