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Future of the Metaverse

My contribution to a report by Elon University’s Imagining the Internet Center and Pew Research, The Future of the Metaverse .   Opportunities for fraud and scams will abound. As well, there is the risk of a non-traceable shadow economy developing. It will be hard for people to grasp the idea that something could be both digital and ‘real’ and, despite the reassurances, it will be very hard not to believe that they could simply cease to exist. The danger here is that people will think of very real things – like, say, digital currency debts – as non-real, and suffer harmful consequences. Complicating matters will be the fact that digital objects may also embody artificial intelligence. By 2040 (probably much sooner), it will not be possible for most people to distinguish between avatars representing humans and AIs. The proliferation of AIs will enable actors with more resources to simulate a much greater presence online (just as we have seen with social media bots). A lot

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