If you can imagine a not-too-distant dystopian future where crimes like VIRTUAL murder are punished in the REAL WORLD as REAL crimes... well, don't read this news... because that's exactly what some of the most influential people on the planet are talking about right now.
The United Arab Emirates minister of artificial intelligence, Omar Sultan Al Olama, said that he believes people who commit "serious crimes" in the metaverse should be punished as real-world criminals. Al Olama said at the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos: "If I send you a text on WhatsApp, it's text right? It might terrorize you but to a certain degree it will not create the memories that you will have PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) from it."
He added: "But if I come into the metaverse and it's a realistic world that we're talking about in the future and I actually murder you, and you see it ... it actually takes you to a certain extreme where you need to enforce aggressively across the world because everyone agrees that certain things are unacceptable".
The same goes for "passporting" between one metaverse platform, and another metaverse platform, Al Olama added: "So if Meta develops something and Magic Leap develops another ... there has to be some sort of interoperability between them".
Chris Cox, the chief product officer at Meta (formerly Facebook) added: "There will probably be something like a rating system, which we have for film, we have for music, we have for other types of content so that a parent or a young person can have some sense of what the rules are in the environment they're going to walk into".
Philip Rosedale, the founder of virtual world platform Second Life, said: "If you want free services at scale, advertising is going to be the natural business model for it just like it has since print. If we move those (advertising) models, which rely on making predictions about what you want and suggesting things to you, and in some cases, I think, manipulating your behavior ... I think it's a terrible risk".
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