Meta unveiled their new AI platform, called MyoSuite, in a press release today. The software is aimed at modelling complex human movement to help develop prosthetics and, potentially, metaverse avatars.
MyoSuite is built using machine learning to help study biomechanical control problems, and Meta claims that the program can run 4,000 times faster than pre-existing musculoskeletal modelling software. The efficiency of the software has allowed Meta to successfully model things like turning a key or twirling a pen. Meta says that since they have been able to model these behaviours, they are looking forward to making advances in prosthetics and physical rehabilitation. Honestly, this is a noble pursuit, until it starts getting a little creepy.
“This research could accelerate development of prosthetics, physical rehab, and surgery techniques,” Mark Zuckerberg said on Facebook today. “It could also help us develop more realistic avatars for the metaverse.”
Um, hold on a minute. Since unveiling their plans for the metaverse, Meta has been playing around with avatars, and they usually take the form of some cartoonish — borderline cute — version of a human. But the potential for Meta avatars to have anatomically correct skeletons and movements feels like we’re dipping a little too far into the uncanny valley.
For now, MyoSuite is just a thorough tool for modelling the human body, and Meta points out that the software also accounts for conditions like muscle fatigue and sarcopenia, which is an accelerated loss of muscle mass with age. In their release, Meta shows a workspace featuring a hand, with peel-away skin, muscle fibres, and tendons, allowing a comprehensive look at how muscles respond to different activities and surgery techniques like tendon transfer.
Best case scenario, Meta is releasing a tool to help solve some serious human issues. But its Meta, the company that peeks at your FAFSA applications and may or may not have played a pivotal role in the January 6 Insurrection. Meta is only releasing MyoSuite with hand and arm functionality, and we have to wonder what this massive tech corporation will be doing with any user data they may be collecting from it.