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Former Google Director: “The metaverse is not the best for society”

Within days of the revelation of the Facebook metaverse (now Meta), a former Google executive warns of possible future risks.

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Former CEO believes that artificial intelligence could create unhealthy and parasocial relationships between people. Photo: Meta / The New Yorker

To take into account. On October 28, MetaMark Zuckerberg’s company that until recently was called Facebook, revealed to the entire world its most ambitious plan yet: its own metaverse. Beyond the enthusiasm that was generated in social networks, the announcement also caused skepticism and even alarm. Many experts have opined on the matter, including Eric Schmidt, former CEO of Google, who does not consider the project as “the best for human society.”

Speaking to the New York Times portal, Schmidt commented that “soon the technology will be everywhere”, but that this is not “necessarily the best”. The executive was Google’s top leader from 2001 to 2011, and served as CEO from 2011 to 2020, the year he left the company.

“People who talk about metaverses refer to worlds more satisfying than the current one: you are richer, more beautiful, more handsome, faster, more powerful. So in a few years, people will prefer to spend more time with their glasses on in the metaverse. Who can set the rules then? The world will become more digital than physical and that is not necessarily the best for our human society ”, he confessed.

Schmidt went further and was encouraged to use more abstract terms such as “god” in his reflections. For him, the metaverse will imply a kind of “deity” in the virtual world that will have access to the artificial intelligence that composes it and the data that they house there.

Of course, artificial intelligence has been the subject of its own controversy. For years, technology leaders and entrepreneurs have rambled on the dangers that AI could pose in an advanced society. Elon Musk, for example, revealed that he does not have “high confidence” in the transparency and security of this paradigm in his own companies.

For Schmidt, artificial intelligence has a downside: it could create unhealthy and parasocial relationships between people, with undesirable consequences for society.

As for Google, a few hours after the announcement of the metaverse of Meta, Mountain View rushed to confirm that they also work in their own virtual world, but that will reveal what at a slower pace “slow and cautious”.

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