Facebook announces $50 million investment to develop a “compatible” and “responsible” metaverse

Facebook has announced that the company is going to invest $50 million in global research and program partners to ensure metaverse products are developed responsibly. The idea is transforming the metaverse field into a joint and colaborative development field.

“The metaverse isn’t a single product one company can build alone. Just like the Internet, the metaverse exists whether Facebook is there or not. And it won’t be built overnight. Many of these products will only be fully realized in the next 10-15 years. While that’s frustrating for those of us eager to dive right in, it gives us time to ask the difficult questions about how they should be built,” Andrew Bosworth (VP Facebook Reality Labs) and Nick Clegg (VP Global Affairs Facebook) sy in the post where the investment was announced.

“We’ll work with experts in government, industry and academia to think through issues and opportunities in the metaverse. For instance, its success depends on building robust interoperability across services, so different companies’ experiences can work together. We also need to involve the human rights and civil rights communities from the start to ensure these technologies are built in a way that’s inclusive and empowering,” They inform.

Facebook defines the metaverse as a set of virtual spaces where one can create and explore with other people who aren’t in the same physical space as the user. Metaverses enable hanging out with friends, working, playing, learning, shopping, create and more.

“It’s not necessarily about spending more time online, it’s about making the time you do spend online more meaningful.,” the post underscores.

Facebook announced the launch of the first augmented reality platform and social virtual reality products in 2017. Today there are multiple and mot than crowded metaverses mostly developed by companies operating in the e-gaming segment.

Focus on some points to anticipate the risks

Facebook has listed some few key areas where the company will work with others to anticipate the risks and “get it right”:

Economic opportunity: how people can be given more choice, how can competition be competition be encouraged, and be maintained a thriving digital economy.

Privacy: how can be minimized the amount of data that’s used, how can technology be built to enable privacy-protective data uses and give people transparency and control over their data.

Safety and integrity: how can people be kept safe online and how can meteverses give them tools to take action or get help if they see something they’re not comfortable with.

Equity and inclusion: how we can make sure these technologies are designed inclusively and in a way that’s accessible.

First partners in the responsible metaverse journey

Facebook has announced some few among their initial partners in the journey towwards a responsible metaverse. Some of them will receive funds from Facebook and some other are external research partners.

The lis t of the first include to date , among others: OAS (Organization of American States), Africa Nop Filter, Electric South, Imisi3D, Women In Immersive Tech. The collaborators of this kind will receive funds from theFacebook XR Programs

Seoul National University, The University of Hong Kong, the Centre fotr Technology, Robotics, Artificial Intelligence & The Law at the Faculty of Law at the National University of Singapore and Howard University are included in the list of external research partners. The research partners may receive funds from a Research Fund specially dedicated to developping the responsible metaverse.

Image over the headline.- The TV room, one of the Oculus Rooms launched in 2017. © Facebook

Related Eastwind links:

Facebook launches first AR platform and first ever social VR products

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