Metaverse is not genuine, but it was really helpful

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In a society that is apparently dependent on the “new, the new”, it is easy to forget to refer to “metaverse” as classic technology hype. That is not the case, or at least it is happening, and it is increasingly the case.

There is a reason why technology moguls are investing their future in this technology to expand the Internet into a permanent virtual reality that has the potential to consume everything in its path and regenerate it. recreate society. Mark Zuckerberg may be a threat, but he is willing to ignore the criticism and embrace the future. When he changed his name from Facebook to Meta, he suffered a $ 200 billion loss in the company’s market value and a $ 30 billion drop in his own net worth.

He is not the only one who is willing to take risks. Rony Abovitz, a Zuckerberg confidante, received more than $ 2.5 billion in funding from a diverse list of venture and private equity investors, including Alibaba and Google, for the project. its former virtual reality Magic Leap. Former Disney boss Robert Iger also joins the board of directors of Los Angeles-based Genies, which raised $ 100 million in venture capital to shape the giant. to represent celebrities on Metaverse as well as to sell virtual goods. Disney itself also has a senior vice president dedicated to its metaverse strategy, a former CTO of the entertainment giant with an “empowering history of transformation … especially when it comes to bridging physical worlds.” and digital ”.

Abovitz compares the current discovery of what he calls “inner space” – a mixture of “neuroscience, imagination, consciousness, physics and adventure” – to pioneers in the field. Mercury space program. Matthew Ball, CEO of venture capital firm Epyllion, told Bloomberg that he predicts a super-reverse economy that will produce between $ 10.30 billion and $ 15.3 billion over 15 years.

The idea of ​​a “metavers” began in 2003 with Second Life, a game and marketplace that former Linden Lab CEO Philip Rosedale envisioned as an open, boundless “green field” where avatars interact with other avatars, creating buildings and communities together and build a virtual economy. In fact, it looked (and still seems) to be an animated and man-made “place” where people buy and sell virtual goods and virtual real estate with little consumer protection. That being said, at the time of writing, over 900,000 people are still “playing” Second Life, which was acquired by an investment group led by Randy Waterfield and Brad Oberwager.

For an animated, constructed feel, including Zuckerberg’s introduction of the “meta-verse,” these worlds, which are things that can change rapidly with technological advancement, are accelerating at breakneck speed. further due to the online impact of the pandemic, enabling great progress in the liveliness or “realistic appearance” of these virtual environments. Two special technologies, sensory field calculation and artificial intelligence, can help users to feel as if what they were going through was real. Sensory data processing refers to how computers translate the five senses (sight, hearing, touch, taste and smell) into digital reality. VR pioneer Charlie Fink, who teaches at Chapman’s Dodge Film School, says the desired effect is to create an “internet where you are inside and looking out” instead of watching from a screen. Character.

The invention of virtual reality glasses like Oculus, later acquired by Facebook (now Meta), was a major step forward for images and sound, though still inadequate. But according to Abovitz, founder of Mako Surgery, Magic Leap, and now Sun and Thunder, we are heading towards what he calls true neurological reality, where all five senses can be expressed as one. in a way so vivid that our neurons cannot discern what physical reality is. and digital reality. He believes the technology has the potential to help people with severe trauma, such as those with PTSD, recover by “rewinding” their brains to adapt to a different, non-traumatic reality. . Sufferers can replace their old tumultuous world with a whole new perspective and context for a more normal life.

But no matter what individual impact this technology has, the real game here is economic. The growth path for social media, where the average American spends more than eight hours a day writing posts, sign-ups and e-commerce, has proven to be very profitable – and even more so in the midst of a pandemic shutdown – for controlled platforms. of tech moguls. As the tools for creating surreal and realistic content evolve, people will spend more and more time in the metaverse. This combined with the building blocks of secure digital commerce, including cryptocurrencies, blockchains and irreplaceable tokens, will get people to use the meta-verse as their primary platform for interaction. whole.

In the past, most people had to go to work to earn a living. More people can now work from home, and even after the pandemic, according to Stanford’s Nicholas Bloom, about 20% of the workforce will not be in the office every day, four times the pre-pandemic rate. . In the world of technology, the University of Chicago proposes that it can comprise 50% of the workforce. This next technology boom may still be headquartered in Silicon Valley, but it will not be as geographically concentrated as the last one; Meta has even rented 33 floors in Austin. This boom is likely to be widespread.

Looking to the future, it is not easy to believe that people will adapt to being constantly online. Not all consequences are negative. Chabad, the orthodox Jewish powerhouse, bought what The Times of Israel called “the metaverse’s first Jewish outpost.” According to Abovitz, the potential for experiential learning can relive the past in hitherto unimaginable ways.

But at the same time, while living online, people are also becoming more observable, allowing companies that control the metaverse to more accurately detect and predict people’s behavior and enable them to purchase digital and physical goods and services that meet their exact needs. need. This economy will not only be driven by personal advertising like social media today, but also by buying and selling physical goods. Unlike a primitive virtual world like Second Life, every purchase in the metaverse will be tracked for ownership, transactions, currency and assets in a way that provides some security. This has the characteristics of a real economy.

And because it’s not built on ads, the metaverse will not end up as “a crippling psychoactive substance” like phones and social media, but something “well-run” and with anyone to produce and consume digital goods.

Real estate, or perhaps better, real estate, seems to be a particularly hot area. If you spend 18 hours a day in virtual reality, you’ll probably love a 32-bedroom mansion in Southampton. You can not buy this in the physical world. But you can buy a virtual one, equip it with “authentic” virtual Napoleonic antiques and sleep in it with your immersive headset. You can even “own” the mansion, though its creator can also create 2 million copies of it to sell to others who want to “own” copies.

Banking giant HSBC made headlines when it agreed to partner with San Francisco-based startup The Sandbox to promote virtual real estate. JPMorgan Chase has developed its own digital real estate product at Decentraland.

You may also want to start a family, but having children in the “real world” is an expensive proposition. The pain of childbirth and long parenting slogans can also be a deterrent. Imagine being able to choose and raise virtual babies. In the era of “Neo Pets”, virtual babies were cared for, educated and above all cared for and cared for. The cost of all this is likely to be a fraction of its equivalent in the real world. But imagine a world where babies do not breastfeed in the middle of the night, have no stretch marks, no pain. And these children will be yours. They will contain your digital DNA. You want “clear headlines” for them.

This is the other side of the coin, and the meta-verse could theoretically limit the diversity and openness of the early Internet. But as Abovitz points out, the big breakthroughs do not come from startups in the garage, but from big tech companies that, like Facebook, can afford to invest billions of dollars and become the “technologist” of our time. The risk is, as we have seen in recent years, that we end up giving our lives to a few companies that rent out the daily digital bread to their serfs and not to the citizens. their day because “we love their free software and games”.

The history of the past decade – rising technological concentration, censorship and growing inequality – has to repeat itself in the new universe. After all, we have known about the negative social effects of Internet technology for a quarter of a century, but we continue to amplify and expand its centralizing power. Fink argues that the pace of technological development is so rapid that “there is no form of representative government to keep up with what is happening.” Instead, we could see a further strengthening of our already existing “surveillance society” – and even a movement towards eternal life (or perhaps life in the future). other eternal life) by letting consciousness into the metaverse.

Yanis Varoufakis, a former Greek finance minister, suggests that the metaverse could be the deadly application of a budding “technological feudalism” in which a handful of companies essentially create “rights” to absolute control over your senses in the created multiverse. These societies can exercise “excessive power over troubled souls,” a perversion first discovered in Huxley’s book. brave new worldand recent films such as The place of paradise 2047.

That sounds a little scary. But as the real world becomes more and more problematic and people seek to escape inflation, crime, disease and other norms in today’s life, another world lures, a refuge that can be irresistible to consumers and very profitable for suppliers. Metaverse is not genuine but it was really helpful

This article is automatically translated from the original language into your language. Do not hesitate to let us know if it contains translation errors so that we can correct them as soon as possible.

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