Will AR Let People “Reality Block” Stuff They Dislike?


Mark Zuckerberg recently changed Facebook's name to Meta. He also laid out plans to build the Metaverse, an immersive AR and VR world, and aims to hire 10,000 people in Europe to accomplish this huge task. That said, is Metaverse going to be a threat to reality? Experts told Business Insider that Metaverse might enable people to "reality block" stuff they don't want to see, even hiding topics from users' vision.


AR metaverse

"Folks should be worried," AR entrepreneur Shawn Frayne told Insider. "If you think Facebook on your phone has been bad for democracy, think about your entire field of view controlled by a company like that."

For instance, the article suggests conservatives walking down the street will be able to block a liquor shop out of their vision, or someone on the same street might walk past a gun store without knowing it exists there.

Personalized Reality For Each User

Personalized Reality For Each User

It means everything that we see could be altered, letting people exist in personalized realities. Louis Rosenberg, AR development expert and the CEO of Unanimous AI, told the news outlet that people will be living in their own bubble which isn't real - a step further from being served information bubbles on the internet.

Sure, the Metaverse could make people's lives better and more colorful. In fact, Rosenberg told Insider it could make our world "feel like Harry Potter." But social media has already created a world it's hard to differentiate between what's real or fake, and the Metaverse isn't going to make things any better. It might, however, make them worse.

Grim Implications Of The Tech

Grim Implications Of The Tech

It's already known that Facebook wants to rule the Metaverse space; the new identity Meta recently unveiled gloves that enable users to "touch" things in the Metaverse. If the gloves are convincing enough, users might even be convinced they are touching another person in the Metaverse.

Imagine starting a new friendship or a relationship with the virtual avatar, or hearing them voice their political opinions disguised as casual conversations. There could be endless implications for the tech. While there's no denying, on some days, we wish reality was different but it's also imperative that it's accurate - and that everyone's on the same page, unlike what we witness on social media every day.

Will Metaverse Take Over Reality?

Will Metaverse Take Over Reality?

Louis Rosenberg also wrote a piece for Big Think, where he warned the Metaverse could bring a real-life dystopia that has only been seen in films until now. "I am concerned about the legitimate uses of AR by the powerful platform providers that will control the infrastructure," Rosenberg wrote in the essay.

Rosenberg also wrote that third parties introduce "paid filter layers," enabling a certain group of users to see specific tags over real-life people. These tags could be circulated and provide information about them.

He also raised a concern that Metaverse would "make reality disappear" as it would create a system where people can't simply away from their devices and have real-world interactions. While all these implications sound scary, it remains to be seen what Meta actually has in store for its audience.

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