(Headline USA) The World Economic Forum has unveiled an initiative to develop the metaverse, a virtual reality construct that many tech companies are betting will be the next big thing for the internet.
Humanists, conservatives and libertarians are less enthusiastic about the new Matrix-like virtual reality world, which could supplant democracy and individual identities with a globalist world order in which collectivism reigns supreme and a plutocratic cabal of ruling elites defines all the parameters by which those in it exist.
The discussions at the ongoing Davos summit did little to assuage those concerns.
The metaverse promises to merge virtual life with real life and create endless new playgrounds and workspaces for users equipped with virtual reality headsets, augmented reality glasses, smartphone apps or other devices.
The forum said Wednesday that it will work with businesses, regulators, civil society and academic experts to help define and build the metaverse. The focus will be on governing the metaverse, as well as how to create economic and societal value.
Facebook inventor Mark Zuckerberg has said the virtual world soon will become the “primary way we live.”
In a panel talk on the metaverse, Facebook parent Meta’s chief product officer, Chris Cox, says he envisioned the need for standards and governance. Meta is betting big on the metaverse as the next big source of the company’s growth.
He says there “will probably be something like a ratings system” for movies, music and other content in the metaverse so parents and young people “can have some sense of what the rules are in the environment that they’re going to walk into.”
Cox compared it to walking into a bar versus a playground, which each have a “different expectation” of the rules that govern those places.
Adapted from reporting by the Associated Press