Non-fungible tokens (NFTs) have been in existence for just under ten years. Nevertheless, significant progress has been made in the technologies that underpin these tokens. Recently, companies such as Altered State Machines and the creators of the CryptoKitties game, among others, have sought to take the next step in the field of NFTs by combining these technologies with artificial intelligence (AI) to create more advanced digital assets.
This study considered various innovations in the integration of AI with NFTs that are already in use. This served as the basis for developing a game where an intelligent model was combined with an NFT and stored in the player’s cryptocurrency wallet. This NFT, in the form of a virtual pet, would be able to grow, learn, evolve, reproduce, and ultimately perish. The virtual pet would not only learn from its experiences but would also require care and attention.
Incorporating artificial life into an NFT involves embedding autonomous, artificial life forms within the tokens. This process employs advanced software algorithms that would facilitate the creation of self-contained, self-generating, and evolving life forms existing entirely within a digital environment. The artificial life forms developed in this project have been represented as animated 2D sprites in the virtual pet environment.
The virtual pet system was designed to enhance the current state-of-the-art and showcase a relatively new area in blockchain game development. These systems serve as the first step towards an unlimited number of innovations across various sectors, including art, music, sports, gaming, and even medicine.
The working prototype was evaluated through tests and interviews with blockchain experts. While acknowledging certain potential security concerns, it was the general view that AI could play a significant role in the future of NFTs, by contributing towards the curation and creation, as well as the development, of smart contracts and market-trend insights.
Figure 1. Screenshot of 4 sample NFTs from local NFT marketplace
Figure 2. Screenshot of an instance from Virtual Pet Simulator
Student: Luke D’Amato
Supervisor: Prof. Alexiei Dingli