The sentient Love Machine: Second Life creator planning metaverse Singularity?

Paul Raven @ 04-02-2010

Regular readers may remember me mentioning LoveMachine Inc., the new project of Second Life creator Philip Rosedale, back in November of last year. At that point, all the signs pointed toward LoveMachine being a start-up that intended to develop a reputational currency system for virtual worlds… and for all we know, it probably still is.

But thanks to SL uber-journalist Wagner James Au, we hear that Rosedale and company have added another project to the company roster. Its title? “The Brain: Can 10,000 computers become a person?”

Rosedale has long been interested in artificial intelligence, and the metaverse would seem like the ideal platform for that sort of research. Rosedale is playing his cards close to his chest at this point (and the cynic in me suspects that there’s an element of publicity-seeking involved, which I’ve gone and indulged by posting about it), but given LoveMachine’s open-frame “pick a task and join the team” approach to recruitment and the number of floating tech geniuses in San Francisco, I’d guess he’s no less likely to make progress than anyone else in the same field… provided that’s where the company’s focus stays put, of course.

And there’s no guarantee of that, either. LoveMachine’s remit is somewhat peripatetic, as is its culture, with Rosedale and chums setting up shop for the day anywhere they can find comfy seats and free wireless internet. Even if the dreams of metaverse AI come to nothing, LoveMachine may end as a blueprint for a new sort of company that, as Au points out, sounds like something out of William Gibson’s early novels: a loose, ad-hoc collective of tech geeks and console cowboys, working wherever they can find a flat surface and some bandwidth, building new things in imaginary spaces.

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