One of the first crimes of Silicon Valley tycoons was to do things because they could be done rather than because they had to be done. Unfortunately, Mark Zuckerberg’s Metaverse is once again a solution in need of a problem, perhaps igniting new fires similar to the ones set by Facebook.
What is Facebook’s Metaverse?
Facebook’s new rebranding, Meta, is investing billions of dollars in a project to create the “Metaverse,” which is a virtual environment where users can immerse themselves with each other and the artificial world around them. If this sounds like something out of the Black Mirror writers’ room, you’re not alone; several famous voices have voiced their opposition to the notion. Dr. David Reid, a Professor of AI and Spatial Computing at Liverpool Hope University, is one of these voices. While he believes the Metaverse has the potential to open up new doors for humanity, he also feels it can exacerbate existing issues with social media and the internet, such as data privacy concerns and cyberbullying.
The Metaverse offers both great benefits and scary risks
- Need a highly robust structure in place to police the metaverse.” Right now, people are concerned about Twitter’s potential influence on politics.
- It can be more deadly; online bullying or social media pile-on become in the metaverse
- It has the ability to go far more radical, in my opinion.
- Immersion’s visceral experience can be highly emotional. Worse yet, that this technological advancement would blur the distinctions between virtual and real life.
- Whoever controls this reality will have access to an extraordinary amount of data – as well as an enormous amount of power.
- There’s a huge market for that. Whoever has control of it influences your entire reality.
- It is more effective to take someone in a truly immersive environment when it can take them to a conflict zone and show them exactly what’s going on.
- Face, eye, body, and hand tracking technology is used in several current MR [mixed-reality] prototype systems. The majority of them feature sophisticated cameras.
- Some even use electroencephalogram (EEG) equipment to detect brainwave patterns. In other words, MR can monitor anything you say, manipulate, look at, or even think about.
- The amount of data generated as a result of this will be enormous and incredibly valuable. This system helps to keep track of it.
- No single firm should ever be able to impose control – it’s simply too vital.
- There will be no need for people to commute to go somewhere.
- There people will never have to face hard physical realities because they have immersed the environment in a virtual paradise. They will be able to live out their wildest fantasies in the Metaverse. They’ll be able to roam the city as furries or robots if they so desire. “You can look like a gorilla, a dragon, or a huge talking penis in the Metaverse.
Critics about Metaverse
Roger McNamee, an early investor in Facebook who has since turned critical of the company’s course in recent years, is another prominent critic of the Metaverse. Speaking at the Web Summit in Lisbon this week, McNamee reportedly stated that he believes Facebook pushed out the metaverse project to deflect attention away from whistleblower Frances Haugen’s testimony. McNamee told the BBC, “Facebook should not be permitted to construct a dystopian metaverse.” “Facebook’s power to make its own decisions should have been taken away. Everything they do should be pre-approved by a regulator. He said, “The amount of harm they’ve done is unquantifiable.”
How Metaverse originated?
It would be obvious to all in Silicon Valley, at least among the innovators and dreamers, that Mark Zuckerberg is pursuing an almost 30-year-old idea with his Metaverse. In 1992 Neal Stephenson made the term, who used it in his novel Snow Crash. Since then, it has tempted Silicon Valley’s smartest and brightest, much like the gold of El Dorado once enticed Europe’s bravest and brightest to cross the Atlantic in lust. Snow Crash is the source of words like Metaverse, avatar, wikis, daemons, and notions like Google Earth. Mark Zuckerberg did not mention Snow Crash when he introduced his vision of the Metaverse and announced the renaming of Facebook to Meta last night. That, on the other hand, was almost certainly not due to a blunder. This notion in Snow Crash is dystopian, as attractive as the metaverse sounds and as benign and futuristic as Facebook makes it look with slick and carefully-scripted videos. Even as they made the book into a type of Bible for computer programmers and Neal Stephenson into a prophet, Silicon Valley elites have chosen to ignore this dystopia again and again.
Vision of the Metaverse
Zuckerberg’s vision of the Metaverse is to succeed in the mobile internet and to set a collection of interconnected digital environments that allow the user to do things that they can’t do in the real world. Stephenson writes, “This imagined location as Metaverse.” “Hiro spends a significant amount of his time in the Metaverse. It beats the shit out of the U-Stor-It.” When you live in a shithole. There’s always the Metaverse,” and that, in contrast to the harsh real world, where Hiro works as a pizza delivery guy, he is “a warrior prince” in the Metaverse.
Metaverse Vs Snow Crash
But, as Zuckerberg left out last night, this isn’t the entire picture offered by Snow Crash. Snow Crash’s tale and world are far from perfect. It’s a dystopia, and the world of 2021 — the real world, not the Metaverse — already looks a lot like the Earth of Snow Crash in many ways. The world of Snow Crash is populated by terrifying Rat Things, robot dogs that resemble Boston Robotics’ four-legged creatures in several aspects. Governments no longer exist or are paralyzed in a society ruled and controlled by private corporations. Is it a little too close for comfort? Yes, it does. It’s a world where “a large workforce is illiterate or aliterate and relies on television,” while “Because they have this semi-mystical ability to speak magic computer languages, a small, extraordinarily literate power elite — the people who walk into the Metaverse, basically — who realize that information is power, dominate society.”.
So, if the idea comes from a dystopia, can you use them to build a utopia?
There isn’t a simple answer to this. However, if we take a few steps back from Snow Crash and consider what Silicon Valley tech companies typically produce, as well as what Facebook and Zuckerberg have produced over the last two decades, the image of the future Metaverse does not inspire much confidence. Instead of addressing the problems that Facebook has caused in the real world as a result of its attempt to bring people closer together, the business is simply ignoring the issue. Rather, Zuckerberg has declared his aim to invent a solution to a problem that does not exist. There isn’t a single internet user on the planet who wants more internet in their lives right now. They’re all looking for ways to spend less. No one in the world wants to put on a virtual reality headset. Further no one need to roam around CGI-created shopping malls with cute and cuddly Pokemon creatures.
If implemented in the same way as Facebook was years ago, Zuckerberg’s Metaverse is likely to become a site that can cause actual harm to users and real flames in real civilizations. It will corrupt reality far more than a simple website can. It will drive new concerns in its users’ personal lives as well as in their social circles. And, unlike the internet, it offers areas where people may relax despite the domination of numerous large digital corporations. Zuckerberg will run Metaverse by a single entity. After all, the Metaverse is Da5id Meier’s domain in Snow Crash, where he is the creator of the world-famous Black Sun and the founding father of the Metaverse protocol.