What is the metaverse

What is The Metaverse 2023 | Interrelationship With Web3, NFTs and AI

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In today’s Web3TV interview, we’re talking with Shea Richburg, the Founder and COO of Future Wise Group, about what the metaverse looks like in 2023 and its interrelationship with Web 3.0 technology, NFTs and artificial intelligence.

For the beginners out there who are trying to understand the metaverse, how would you define it? 

Well, there’s lots of different visions as to what the metaverse could be but ultimately, I would say the metaverse is a virtual world which will be either augmented reality (AR) or virtual reality (VR) where humans will be engaging with one another.  The types of engagement include financially, educationally, through work or socially in the near future.

How is the metaverse important to the future of the digital world? 

The future of the digital world is extremely important. It’s important because we see companies left and right jumping in these metaverses and building in the metaverse. We see companies having their organizations hold staff meetings in the metaverses in virtual rooms.

We see particularly colleges, building digital twin cities, which is just a digital replica of their college.  This allows them to teach students who are unable to attend their physical campus in the metaverse.

We also see a lot of people socially hanging out in the metaverse, getting to meet one another from all over the world.

I’ll go as far as to say, I recently met somebody who is trying to implement a dating app in the metaverse. So pretty soon people living no where near Paris might be meeting at the Eiffel tower on their first date.

So the metaverse is not going anywhere, what is being being built is very important and we should all be very aware of what’s happening.

What would you say to the skeptics who are seeing very little development in this space and believe the concept of the metaverse is dead?

I read a lot of articles and I even look on Linkedin and understand a lot of people are saying well, I really thought the metaverse was going to explode by now and it hasn’t and Microsoft has just fired their metaverse team so I get this viewpoint.

However, I think it’s just distractions. There’s a lot of building in the metaverse and in things connected with the metaverse. For example, Starbucks is unleashing their NFT program. So they’re really trying to get a community involved around this Web3 by offering these NFTs.

We have a lot of governments getting involved in this. We have South Korea, we have China, we have Dubai, we have the Bahamas who are heavily relying on the metaverse as their residents begin to engage with one another. Some residents are actually getting Government services through the metaverse and through their avatars.

So for all the naysayers who are saying it’s not developing, the metaverse is not going anywhere. I don’t think the masses are in there yet but that’s not to say it’s not growing and being developed.

If governments continue to get involved in this and one day you’re be forced to get in there to get benefits or access to goods, it is important you learn how.

What is your five to ten prediction for what the metaverse is going to look like? 

My predictions for the metaverse is we’re going to be in there more and more often because of corporate jobs. I’ve seen a car dealership in the metaverse. I think we’re going to have opportunities to buy our vehicles in the metaverse.

We’re going to be learning in the metaverse and it’s important for us to remain upskilled and learn about all these technologies because artificial intelligence (AI) is coming and it’s messing together in the metaverse.

If we don’t upskill ourselves, a lot of jobs will be displaced. I’m a human that loves humans, but I feel as though we need to understand how this technology can help our day-to-day lives and our experiences and how we can work together with it.

So ten years from now the metaverse will be built and you’ll be able to order your food in there and in a matter of minutes, the food will be delivered at your front door.

Your work colleagues will not just be from the same area where you live in, they’re going to be from all over the world but be in the same meeting rooms when you have meetings.

The same thing goes for schools, from elementary school to higher education. You’re going to have classmates from all over the world.

Tourism is also going to be different. You’re going to be able to go to the Amazon in Brazil which you haven’t been able to do before, directly through the metaverse.

So there’ll be a lot of entertainment in there, a lot of educational focuses in there and for work. People will be working for big organizations in the metaverse. So I see all of that coming together.

For those still struggling to get this vision, can you paint a vision as to how people will have these experiences in the metaverse?

I think it’s going to be based on augmented reality. So it’s going to look like our real world but then you’ll see something in front of you.  Let’s say you wanted to find a recipe. You can look on your phone and then you’ll see this cool hovering cookbook right next to you with the recipe you requested. So I think it’s going to be a blend of the real world and this virtual world, but we are going to be pretty submerged in this virtual world.

I think that people are scared to jump in because, like you said, they think, it’s the goggles but no they’re, trying to make it as easy, as you know, jumping in there on your phones and I know there has been a lot of infrastructure built in America so everyone has access to it.

You can log on through your laptop, or ipad and jump on one of these platforms and get into the metaverse, or some other part of Web 3.0. Trust me, they’re going to work on this and it’s going to work simultaneously; it’s going to be an open metaverse where you can jump from one space into another. Your avatar will be jump from one space into another space. You don’t have to log back out and log back in.

So it will be very intricate, but I think it will be very pleasing to people and hopefully, as seamless as possible.

How important is AI going to be in the metaverse? 

AI is going to be extremely important in the metaverse. We see AI being implemented right now in our real world. Imagine the things that they’re going to do in the metaverse. Eventually we will have these really cool avatars and their skins, which are their clothing. But we will have very realistic life-like avatars one day and that’s when you’ll be going in there to work, going in there to school and so that’s going to be powered by AI.

We also have digital humans who are in there, but you see them as 3-D bots. So when there are violations that take place in the metaverse, these bots pop up and they issue warnings or tell people their behavior is not allowed on this platform.

Lastly, I had to tell you, I just spoke to somebody a week ago and he said he was in Japanese subway, and it was literally a digital twin of a real subway in Japan and he had to interact with AI. He had to purchase his ticket and he had to find the right time and schedule for his train. So you can get quite intricate in creating a digital twin of our real world and using AI to power it.

So who is going to determine the moral code and behavior allowed in the metaverse?

I do not believe in Web 3.0 or metaverse policing. I have faith in humanity. I have faith that we will be able to positively conduct ourselves in the metaverse through these avatars.

While there might be some violations which need to be policed, it is important the laws and policies are transparent and open. I really feel it will be a space where it’s a breath of fresh air. A space where you are really connecting with people and having a good time in there and that’s what really my vision for the metaverse is.

What opportunities will the metaverse present?

Oh, there are endless opportunities. You have to look at the metaverse as this completely new world, and so we’re going to have metaverse real estate agents. There’s a lot of buildings so people will be purchasing properties in there.

A lot of people want their own platforms. We’re going to see a lot of communities building in the metaverse. So if you hold these NFTs for example, you get to go to exclusive concerts or exclusive book signings in there, and so I think that that’s really cool. I said you could order your food in there.

We need the creators to put their thinking caps on.  We could have digital libraries and even digital museums. There is a lot of history that we have in the real world that I think needs to go in the metaverse too because we need it coincide as we’ll be in the metaverse a lot.

What challenges is the metaverse going to present?

When I engage with people, either via training or just talking, the biggest challenges that I foresee are safety and privacy issues. You know we hear all the time in the real world, people are being hacked, and that’s scary, and those are be issues that we’re going to face in the metaverse and under the whole Web 3.0 umbrella.

So I would really like to see serious safety precautions taken from user to user. I like people and it is cool they can come in with any kind of avatar, but at some point we need to know who we’re speaking with and that our children are protected in there.

I would like to see people conveying a certain level of respect and empathy to one another in the metaverse and even on the internet. Because the avatar is a depiction of you, it is like you are talking to the person face to face. Hopefully this discourages the types of behavior people feel they can engage in when hiding behind a keyboard.

Privacy policies are huge in the metaverse and we really need these privacy laws. We need the people building these metaverse platforms to be upfront with the data that they’re going to be collecting from us, what they are using that data for and for us to have the choice to opt out of providing that information.

These are serious issues that need to be answered and I hope we get that before the metaverse really explodes into something huge.

What type of impact do you think that metaverse and NFTs will have on the way we experience say, music and entertainment? 

Well, overall, I think NFTs will create more community so it’ll get people really excited about these entertainment products. I’ll give you an example. I worked with a company that tried out NFTs where you as an NFT holder were able to change the ending to a movie. They got to vote on it. There were two alternative endings and NFT holders were allowed to actually vote on it. They decided the ending to a movie.

So I think you’ll see people really engaging with one another more, supporting these projects, and I think that’s what these companies really want. I think you’ll see more private events surrounding these NFTs. It’s really to make people feel like a community. That’s what it is and this virtual world, they want these people, these NFT holders to really be leading the direction of the company and its projects.

Can you discuss with us the potential economic and social implications of the metaverse, including it’s impact on the future of work and jobs, not only in the entertainment but other industries?

So for me, the metaverse has huge implications on future of work. I do not believe people will be back in the office Monday to Friday, nine to five. I think people will be meeting virtually. I think the metaverse and AI is going to take away jobs in some industries. I just saw the CEO of Microsoft say that and so what I want everybody to remember is because we have this new world and these new creations, always remember to upskill.

You’re never too old to get certifications. That’s what I really need people to do now. I don’t know if you’ve heard of this but they are predicting there’s going to be a new class of people called the ‘useless class’. They will not be capable of skilling themselves to be part of this new workforce, and I don’t want to see that happen.

So people need to be able to embrace continual learning and really be open to understanding these new technologies in the metaverses and how it works and how they can work with it. So it will be job loss, but if you have the right skills, you’ll, be okay.

Are Governments afraid of the metaverse and this new technology or are they embracing it? 

They are completely embracing it and I think we’re a little behind over here in America because other countries are completely crushing it. For example, South Korea have a government sponsored metaverse, as does Dubai, as does China. They are actually implementing the metaverse and working with it so people can use government services through the metaverse and they’re, also using this for digital tourism.

So a lot of these governments want to embrace digital wealth and currency and they’re embracing the metaverse. This is the direction of where we’re going, and so they have already built these worlds so they can encourage their residents and others to bring tourism and digital currency spend to their countries.

So in summary, the metaverse is here, it is growing and developing and there is no better time to get involved and learn what it is all about.

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Andrew McCombe
Andrew McCombehttps://web3tv.com.au/
Andrew McCombe is the Co-founder of Web 3.0 TV - > Web 3.0 TV shares inspiring web 3.0 stories making a difference to the world - Web 3 TV
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