metaverse does not quite “exist” yet, But it has already inspired billions of dollars of investment.
What kind of metaverse might produce a return on this investment – and what would it mean for its actual users?
Louis Rosenberg, computer scientist and founder of the company unanimous AIHe spent three decades working in virtual reality. He has evaluated the current scene and He doesn’t like what he seesspecifically when it comes to the advertising-based business model of the current tech giants.
I spoke with him this week about the potential threats to privacy and consumer rights in an immersive virtual world, and what regulators might need to start paying attention to. Here is an edited version of our conversation:
How has your background in technology influenced your attitude toward metaviruses?
Metaverse technologies can give large corporations so much influence and control over society that they make the problems we currently see with social media seem kind of weird. I started thinking and writing about it in 2008, as we saw social media evolve from perfect technology with all these amazing possibilities to having all these unexpected consequences, and it became more and more obvious that exactly the equation could enter. This is the same direction.
Social media platforms have become very good at tracking and categorizing people by looking at where you click, what you buy, and who your friends are. In the metaverse, both of those things are getting exponentially worse.
What are the Metaverse risks of this business model?
Metaverse platforms will be able to track where you go, what you do, where you look, how long you look, your gait; They will look at your situation and be able to infer your level of interest. They will monitor your facial expressions, vocal discharges, vital signs, blood pressure, heart rate, and blood flow patterns on your face. These vast profiles will make the amount of information that social media companies get hold of seem like the good old days.
Then they can use it to target and persuade you. Advertising will go from promotional media to promotional experiences: they can change the world in a targeted way, so what you see is different from what someone else sees… If it’s not structured or restricted, the metaverse’s ability to influence people would be the most dangerous persuasive tool they could create. mankind at all.
in your scientific article You write that either company will self-regulate these issues or that the government will do so on their behalf. Is there any incentive for the first?
I don’t think there is much incentive to self-regulate, unless consumers demand a safe platform and platforms compete on the question of who is more secure, or who guarantees more rights. If there is no market force driving this, I don’t see it happening naturally.
What is your message to regulators about the metaverse?
It helps the fact that social media has become more dangerous than anyone expected, because at least people accept the fact that these large platforms can be very dangerous. Now is the time when the industry can really be affected by politics – the industry can choose different business models, if there are protective barriers in place.
I’m trying to get this message across, as opposed to the inner reaction, which is “Oh, it’s so early, people don’t even know what the metaverse is yet, how do you organize it?” Meta, Google, Apple, and Samsung all know exactly what the metaverse will be. Just two days ago, Announced Roblox They will start advertising on their platform. Roblox has 50 million children in their metaverse; Advertising to children is more dismissive than adults, yet financial pressures push them into it.
If Roblox is willing to go in that direction for kids, it won’t take much for adult-oriented platforms to make that decision unless there’s regulation.
The AR/VR . Policy Conference today It hosted a large group of experts in the metaverse and the emerging technology that might support it, covering the role of virtual reality in everything from intellectual property to geopolitics.
Representative Daryl Issa (R-CA) gave a keynote on behalf of The Reality Pool, calling on tech giants to use their massive investments for good. One available envoy from this world who listened to his call was Meta Christina Jackson, who during a panel discussion on “Online Security, Freedom of Speech and Content Management in the New Digital City Arena” detailed in Suggestion for shared metaverse governance The company’s head of global affairs Nick Clegg posted this earlier this year.
“If developers were creating these spaces, they might want their set of rules to be different,” Jackson said. Who is responsible? [to moderate]? It probably depends on the space, and then it could be a shared responsibility. Should one person answer that? I don’t know.”
The conference also hosted representatives from the Biden Administration’s Labor Department, to discuss “The Role of AR/VR Innovation in the Workforce,” and the Department of Defense, during a panel discussion on “How AR/VR Will Reshape National Defense, Government Services, and International Relations.” Watch the full conference Archive here.
It’s official: The European Union is kicking its bureaucratic machinery on the road.
In the letter of intent Accompanying today’s State of the Union address, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen included an “initiative on virtual worlds, such as [the] metaverse” as part of his ‘Europe is Fit for the Digital Age’ programme, making it good for Inland Market Commissioner Thierry Breton. Referring to this move last week.
Bretton expanded on this topic in a Blog post Today, it is emphasized that the development of the metaverse must follow “European values” including safety, openness, interoperability and fair competition.
In post Breton, also officially launched “Industry Alliance for Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality, “which was first announced in 2020 and now, he says, is developing” a roadmap outlining the next steps for virtual/augmented reality in Europe that has been endorsed by the Commission and EU organizations working on and investing in these technologies. The post also describes a new initiative in the European Parliament focused on the effects of video games on society and industry – another example of how the two topics are intertwined.
Stay in touch with the whole team: Ben Scheringer ([email protected]); Derek Robertson ([email protected]); Konstantin Kakays ([email protected]); And the Heidi Vogt ([email protected]). Follow us Tweet embed on Twitter.
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