Forget Ant Farms, Scientists To Monitor Millions Of Digital Humans
from the yes,-but-who-will-be-their-Neo? dept
There’s some hope that virtual worlds will serve as laboratories to test out various economic and social ideas. But for every people-based approach, there’s always going to be an algorithmic solution as well. Researchers in Europe are planning on building a world where millions of software beings, all distinct and unique, will interact with each other. If the beings can be made with realistic human attributes, the thinking goes, it will help people study the impact of various events and government policies. But of course this assumes that the researchers can design these beings in some way that doesn’t reflect their personal biases of how people behave. The real problem, though, is that it assumes we have the know-how to reduce a human being into lines of code. Realistically, we’re probably not there yet — certainly not in any position to be testing laws. Still, it would be good if more social ideas and theories did have to be tested, and it’s exciting to see the various approaches for making this happen.