Mark Zuckerberg hasn’t lost his mind, but he wants you to lose yours… to the metaverse. He is investing billions of dollars to make sure that his rebranded company, Meta, will be the industry leader in the same way that IBM dominated the computer industry for many decades.
Other major Big Tech companies are jumping in. Gaming software development companies, chip manufacturers and hardware developers. Together, it will create an entirely new industry that will run alongside Artificial Intelligence: Artificial Reality.
For those who embrace it, the metaverse will completely rewire the human brain. It will get into your brain. It will dominate your brain. It will provide an endless source of dopamine hits as you are visually, mentally and emotionally stimulated.
It will dominate the workforce, the social world, the classroom and education and entertainment.
It will fulfill the dream of Transhumanism to live forever as an AI program embodied in a personalized, stateless avatar. Ray Kurzweil, head of engineering at Google and founder of Singularity University, should be dancing in the street because the long sought-after digital resurrection of his father is coming.
The metaverse will suck every byte of data from your life to empower what Dr. Soshanna Zuboff calls “Surveillance Capitalism”. That is, every blink of your eye, every facial expression, every facet of emotional and physical states, etc. The metaverse will know far more about you than you will ever know about it.
When Mark Zuckerberg says “The future is private”, he is lying through his pearly white teeth. In fact there will be zero privacy. Nor will you be compensated for voluntarily giving yourself up to this artificial Utopia.
The metaverse will not necessarily tell you what to think, but it will entirely change the way you think. It will rearrange your logic circuits in a way that you cannot distinguish between what is real and what is not. Your metaverse will become as real to you as the nose on your face.
Many people have already likened the metaverse to the 2018 movie, Ready Player One. In it, a dystopian world of poverty and misery is turned into an instant Utopia by merely putting on your virtual reality headset. This is quite reminiscent of the World Economic Forum’s pronouncement that “You will own nothing and be happy.”
How will the metaverse transform the economic system of the world? Zuckerberg sees a blending of real and virtual economies. There will be interchangeable currencies. You might buy a pizza in the metaverse but have it delivered to your house. Or vice versa. Of course, Zuckerberg also wants to create and control the digital currency.
To enable the metaverse, communication is everything. 5G wireless speeds will only scratch the surface. It will be 6G that really fires it up.
Of one thing you can be absolutely certain: the societal discussion on the metaverse is just beginning.