User needs and legally ruled collaboration in the VirtualLife virtual world platform


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Authors: Vytautas Čyras, Kristina Lapin.
Symposium on Methods of Artificial Intelligence, 18-19 November 2009.
T. Burczyński, W. Cholewa, W. Moczulski (eds.) Recent Developments in Artificial Intelligence Methods, AI-METH series, November 2009, p.69-76. ISBN 83-60759-15-4.

ABSTRACT: The paper addresses the purposes and design decisions produced while developing a peer-to-peer virtual world platform. The work is being done within the FP7 VirtualLife project. The purpose of the project is to create a safe, democratic and legally ruled collaboration environment. The novelty of the platform is mainly in the issues of security and trust and in the implementation of an in-world legal framework, which is real world compliant. The rule of law principle is extended to a virtual world. Such an extension advances the level of intelligence of an artifact. The approach accords with a trend in legal informatics “From norms in law to rules in artifact”. In the paper the authors reflect on user needs and learning support in a university virtual campus, a potential scenario. Virtual worlds’ opportunities in enhancing learning are discussed. A new paradigm of the content is characterized as interaction versus information.

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User needs and legally ruled collaboration in the VirtualLife virtual world platform

  1. 1. User needs and legally ruled collaboration in the VirtualLife virtual world platform Vytautas ČYRAS, Kristina LAPIN Vilnius University, Lithuania, 1
  2. 2. Virtual worlds Serious, e.g. “Second Life”, “Active Worlds” Educational Universe Not games e.g. “World of Warcraft” I am neither a proponent nor opponent of them. 2 Consider negative factors such as addiction Research & software development project FP7 ICT VirtualLife project, 3 years from 01.01.2008 Title “Secure, Trusted and Legally Ruled Collaboration Environment in Virtual Life”. Acronym “VirtualLife” Goal: software platform – peer-to-peer architecture Learning support as a use scenario, e.g. “University Virtual Campus”
  3. 3. 3 About FP7 ICT VirtualLife project Objective to create a safe, democratic and legally ruled 3D collaboration environment Novelties issues of security and trust in-world legal framework a “Supreme Constitution”, a “Virtual Nation Constitution”, a set of contracts peer-to-peer network communication architecture
  4. 4. 4 Learning needs of “digital natives” Students of today are active Web 2.0 participants easy create relationships in social networks like impressing peers with curious facts enjoy participating in online group activities function in “multitasking mode” a new phenomenon: they share the knowledge with unknown people do not like memorizing information for later use but they are effective in searching
  5. 5. Motivation of learning Learning materials static – searchable in 2D for learner’s queries interactive objects – in 3D 5
  6. 6. Learning environment Constantly gratifying, encouraging social interaction 6
  7. 7. Sample scenarios Web 2.0 information as a content asynchronous communication “University Virtual Campus” interaction as a content synchronous communication 7
  8. 8. Virtual worlds for education Sara de Freitas. Serious Virtual Worlds: A scoping study. 2008 A list of virtual worlds more than 80 open source platforms: “Multiverse”, “OpenSim”, “Metaplace” 8
  9. 9. From legal rules – to virtual world rules – to rules in software 9 This translation complies with: Lawrence Lessig’s conception “Code is law” Raph Koster’s “Declaration of the Rights of Avatars” ‘Keep off the grass’ ‘The subject – avatar – is forbidden the action – walking on the grass’ A software program, i.e. a script. Implemented by trigers which control the avatar Natural intelligence – a team of (1) a legal expert, and (2) virtual world developer Natural intelligence – a programmer Translation Translation
  10. 10. Examples of rules 1. An avatar is forbidden to touch objects not owned by him or a certain group. 2. An avatar not belonging to a given group is forbidden to a given area of the zone. 3. An avatar is forbidden to create more than a given number of objects during a given time interval. 4. An avatar is forbidden to use a given dictionary of words (slang) while chatting with other avatars. 5. An avatar of age is forbidden to chat with avatars under age. 6. An avatar is forbidden to execute authorized scripts in a certain area. 10
  11. 11. Problems of translation Abstractness of norms. Legal norms are formulated in very abstract terms. Open texture. Hart’s example of “Vehicles are forbidden in the park”. Legal interpretation methods. The meaning of a legal text cannot be extracted from the sole text. Grammatical interpretation, systemic interpretation, teleological interpretation Legal teleology. The purpose of a legal rule usually can be achieved by a variety of actions. Heuristics. The ability to translate abstract high level concepts and invent low level ones. Consciousness of the society. Law enforcement is a complex social phenomenon. 11
  12. 12. The editor of rules A law is composed of Norms [Vázquez-Salceda et al. 2008]. A Norm is composed by: (1) NORM_CONDITION, (2) VIOLATION_CONDITION, (3) DETECTION_MECHANISM, (4) SANCTION (5) REPAIR. A NORM_CONDITION is expressed by: TYPE {Obliged, Permitted, Forbidden} SUBJECT {Avatar, Zone, Nation} ACTION {ENTER, LEAVE, CREATE, MODIFY, MOVE, CREATE, TRADE, SELL, BUY, CHAT, etc.} COMPLEMENT {AREA, AVATAR, OBJECT, etc.} IF {logical_expresssion_using_subjects_properties} 12
  13. 13. An example of Norm 1. Condition: FORBIDDEN Student_Avatar ENTER Library IF Student_Avatar.age < 18 2. Violation condition: NOT over_age(Student_Avatar) AND admit(Student_Avatar, Library) 3. Detection mechanism: call over_age(Student_Avatar) when Student_Avatar enters Library 4. Sanction: decrease_reputation(Student_Avatar); notify avatar 5. Repair: log and roll back if applicable 13
  14. 14. Legal framework of VirtualLife Three tiers: 1. A “Supreme Constitution” Code of Conduct values that the user has to respect, e.g. avatars integrity, sanctity of property, reputation, etc. A part of EULA (End User License Agreement) 2. A “Virtual Nation Constitution” authentication procedure to become a member of Nation copyright law of Nation, e.g. “CopyLeft” or “CopyRight” 3. A set of different sample contracts sales contract teacher employment contract student contract 14
  15. 15. Conclusions Virtual worlds are likely to become a widespread extension of our real lives Legal and security features need to be improved Digital natives need a new learning environment with experiences similar to online games 3D virtual worlds add the value of interaction experience Provide interaction and feedback 15
  16. 16. Thank you Acknowledgements: The whole VirtualLife consortium, 9 partner organisations 16