Metaverse Discussed at Qatar Debate Program in Davos

  • Publish date: Thursday، 26 May 2022
Metaverse Discussed at Qatar Debate Program in Davos

At a debate organized by Qatar Foundation's Qatar Debate on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, audience members were asked whether the metaverse accelerates opportunities or instills negative habits, impulses, and addictions in people.

Three experts argued for, and three experts argued against the motion 'The Metaverse is an 'Opium of the People' in the Making,' which was organized in collaboration with the New York Times. The metaverse was described by panelists as an extension of the internet that allows users to have a much more immersive experience.

"Our position is that the metaverse is a neutral medium," stated Shep Ogden, Co-Founder and CEO of Offbeat Media Group, who argued against the move. We have control over how, when, and what we do with it. Consider the internet of today. The internet is a really powerful tool that allows us to have access to information and communicate with our friends and family more effectively. It also aids us in rethinking how we work in the world."

"Remember the red pill and the blue pill?" Nicole Büttner, Co-Founder and CEO of Merantix Labs, who also argued in favor of the motion, questioned the audience. You swallow the blue pill, the story stops, and you wake up in your bed, believing whatever you choose. You stay in Wonderland if you swallow the red pill."

"I'm even more frightened that, once we reach the metaverse, we won't even have the choice of whether we take the red pill or the blue pill," she said, adding that choosing the "blue pill" can lead to "abandoning" the quest of truth.

Some virtual worlds, according to Philip Rosedale, Co-Founder and CEO of High Fidelity, have "tremendous potential for good," such as resolving impairments, decreasing inequality, and giving business potential.

"The vast majority of individuals have never visited these virtual worlds. They would rather be entertained than challenged, and they would sooner relax and flee than learn and advance. Both platforms and individuals will fall to the desire to provide the blue pill rather than the red, drowning us in a sea of unpleasant possibilities as the actual metaverse. In the metaverse, we can ponder the question, "What is the red pill?" What is the point of taking the red pill if not to remove the headset?

The experts then gave their closing arguments to the jury, which comprised Peggy Johnson, CEO of Magic Leap, and Kai-Fu Lee, Chairman, and CEO of Sinovation Ventures and President of the Sinovation Ventures Artificial Intelligence Institute, with the audience voting by applause to end the discussion.

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