Ran innovation will have so quickly fascinated the economic world. Less than a year after Mark Zuckerberg formalized his intention to“opening a new chapter of the Internet” with the metaversewe attend the race towards this new virtual world.
Its main competitors -Microsoft, Amazon, Apple, Tencent…- have announced massive investments to develop their own metaverse. And, it must be recognized, there are innumerable companies that have acquired land there without knowing very well what to do with it.
Obviously, the metaverse is enthusiastic. What could be more normal for an innovation that combines fiction and reality? In fact, for more than twenty-five years, and the launch of the book the virtual samuraiby Neal Stephenson (1996), the world of culture has never stopped producing stories around a parallel digital world.
€615 billion by 2030
However, the metaverse cannot be approached solely through fascination. This virtual world reformulates human-machine interaction in unprecedented proportions. to the point of “transform almost everything in human life”according to the formula of the American anthropologist Tom Boellstorff.
In the heart of website 3, immerses the user in a situation where all the biometric and physiological data emitted by their body can be registered and used by the technology. As Micaela Mantegna, professor of artificial intelligence (AI) ethics at Harvard, reminded us, “The metaverse is the point of convergence of the Internet, social networks and video games. Therefore, it concentrates the ethical questions that already existed with social networks, Internet governance and AI.”
Faced with these challenges, the potential of the market (estimated at 615,000 million euros by 2030) and the fact that we have had all the problems in the world to put an end to the “Digital Wild West”, the time is no longer in the brand census who have acquired the largest virtual land. She is in control. That of Web 3 and, by extension, that of the metaverse.
If the first two eras of the Web were mainly those of the big platforms, the third will be that of the citizen. Who would understand that, at a time when our societies are plagued by ethical debates and sustainability issues, Web 3 is exempt from them? This must be framed in guiding principles, in tune with our times. Namely, the responsibility of AI, the protection of personal data and decarbonization.
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