The metaverse is quite possibly the future of the internet. To help our readers learn more about it, we've started this metaverse interview series.
These are the questions we've compiled to ask experts in blockchain, DAOs, NFTs, and game development, within the HackerNoon community. The series is intended for tech professionals to contribute their insights about the current state and the future of the metaverse.
If you too would like to start contributing to Hacker Noon, you can do so here.
If you also want to publish your thoughts about the metaverse, answer the template here.
My name is Amir-Reza Asadi and I’m from Iran. I'm a technology designer and human-computer interaction researcher. I'm head of design for Dynamic Stacks LTD. I love thinking about future trends, even so, I started FuturePortal, the open encyclopedia of the future.
In the early years of Cloud Computing, some critics argued that cloud computing is nothing new and it is just a marketing term for rebranding the dumb terminals. They were both wrong and right at the same time!! Cloud computing followed the architecture of dumb terminals within the context of high-speed Internet. It's similar to saying the ice cube is the same as bottled water. Of course, ice is made of water, but ice is solid, and water is liquid.
Many respectable AR/VR people have the same view about the metaverse. I, for one, define metaverse as "the hypergrowth of the integration of real-life with the cyber environment through the convergence of immersive technologies, edge computing, AI and decentralization”.
I designed BeyondPass AR as an ultimate augmented reality social network in 2018. I'm working on several aspects of the metaverse, including a spatial content browser, a digital cloth design system, and a cognitive architecture for creating the cognitive digital twin of users.
Metaverse is inevitable, but many key players in the tech community may try to change its name. Instead of nagging about the term of the metaverse, we need to think about the first order, second-order, and third-order consequences of each brick of the metaverse world.
There is no doubt that the Internet has changed our lives forever, and the alignment of AI, Immersive technologies, and the Internet can create a similar revolution. Many people try various techniques to reduce their screen time, but the metaverse merges the internet with your perception of the real world. A highly usable metaverse technology becomes harmonious with your life routine. So it makes this concept similar to the forbidden fruit. AI Capabilities can bring eternity to humans in the metaverse, and on the other side, metaverse can captivate human civilization to the darkness. Last but not least, I recommend watching the Wild Palms, an ABC miniseries from 1993, it tells you many things about the importance of metaverse.
Screen-based Internet is just the tip of the iceberg. With metaverse, We can live the information; We can live the media. The current consumer-level virtual reality technology is really far from our real-world experiences. Users need to wear heavy headsets and experience problems with frame rates, wrong gestures, motion sickness and so on. In one sentence, the experience is too inferior.
Blockchain plays a vital role in the decentralization of the metaverse. Without blockchain-based decentralization, the ownership of virtual content is under the control of platform gatekeepers. And if a gatekeeper changes its business model or goes bankrupt, it can dismantle users' experiences. For the massive adoption of the metaverse, we need blockchain-based services not just for proof of ownership. We also need low-cost on-chain storage and on-chain computing services.
Five years is a short time, we need new laws, standards, file formats, scripts, and solutions to make access to metaverse cost-effective and democratic. Many different platforms should work together in the most effective way. There will be devices with high usability and low price for access to metaverse in five years, but the technical limitations of devices are not the only problem. We need changes in many business models of current mainstream platforms or to replace them with new decentralized platforms, and this takes time.
I'm distraught. We are at one of the turning points of history, and the tech community is obsessed with partisan interests, hatred, and personal interests. It truly matters to think about the outcomes of our decisions. The technology community needs to think about their choices wisely, and they should put personal interests aside. The metaverse will create a new civilization. We live in the moments of the founding fathers of the United States. They knew that they were architecting the greatest nation in the world. Their decisions about the bill of rights changed the course of history and made the USA the beacon of liberty and democracy. Their decisions defined new sets of standards for nations around the world.
Now, the tech community is responsible for preserving these values in this new era of civilization. There are many things we need to consider. We need to crowdsource the development of the Metaverse bill of rights. We need to keep it open for all people; we need to think about how we want to uphold justice in the metaverse. When the metaverse becomes mainstream, it won't be just an entertainment service. It will become a public utility service. Video game platforms and social networks may ban users for their misbehaviors. It might be ok, but restricting a user's access in the age of metaverse is like a life sentence without the possibility of parole and trial because the real world may get dissolved in the metaverse. That is just one example; with current terms of services and laws, there will be many cases in private companies or undemocratic governments that may try to suppress users' rights in the metaverse. Lawmakers may pass a metaverse bill of rights in the future, but I'm afraid that it may come late.
The Tech community can uphold the bill of rights values by crowdsourcing the metaverse bill of rights. A widely accepted metaverse bill of rights can persuade the metaverse companies to play fair in the hope of gaining more market share.
You can call metaverse the internet; you can call it a video game. You can call it whatever, but you need to focus on what truly matters; we need to preserve individual liberties in the metaverse, protect the free flow of information, maintain justice, and make the metaverse economy competitive for all parties.