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Facebook intends on employing 10,000 Europeans to work on the metaverse

Facebook is intending on enlisting the assistance of 10,000 new employees throughout Europe to assist in bringing to life its metaverse vision. 

The metaverse traces its coinage to Neal Stephenson’s 1992 science fiction work Snow Crash, where human beings communicate with one another and software agents as virtual avatars in a persistent 3D space. Since that time, the notion has found its place in smash hit science fiction novels such as William Gibson’s Neuromancer and Ernest Cline’s Ready Player Two. 

Internet games like Second Life have made an effort to develop something kind of like a metaverse but were restricted by the technology of their time. Progression in Industry 4.0 technologies which includes the Internet-of-Things, Augmented Reality, Virtual Reality, Artificial Intelligence, blockchain, cryptocurrencies, cloud/edge computing, 5G and more are unveiling the potential for true metaverses. 

George Monaghan, Thematic Analyst at GlobalData, provides his take: 

“At this juncture, the metaverse is approximately at the same phase of development as the internet was in the mid 1990s. There’s tons of talk, investment is appreciating, and a few of the required parts are starting to come together. 

That we are not yet aware what the metaverse will turn into should not induce frustration as nobody really knows at this point. Facebook and other heavyweights are betting that massive things will come from the technology without being aware exactly what those things will be – just as smart investors in the 1990s made huge bets that massive things would come from the internet without predicting the proliferation and onset of the social media and video streaming era. They want to get in at the infrastructure level and make themselves indispensable. 

Facebook is aware that the metaverse has massive potential. However, Facebook is also aware that the metaverse has a bit more than only ‘potential’. The type of investment we’re observing demonstrates that the tech giants actually believe the metaverse will transform our lives.” 

We can only hope it doesn’t foster a new generation of ineffectual losers. Posers who are unable to face reality, and unable to look at themselves in a mirror – resorting to literal and complete flight in their stress response reactions. 

Facebook, as the planet’s biggest social media platform and owner of VR heavyweight Oculus, is without a surprise, intent of obtaining a head start in turning the metaverse dream into a reality. Failing to do so could imply users utilize lesser time socializing on Facebook’s platforms and more within a metaverse where it has minimal influence or impact. 

Although obtaining the head start and the early lead is definitely preferred, one of the critical pillars of a metaverse is that digital worlds will be interoperable. Users could jump from Facebook’s metaverse to one that is hosted by Amazon, Google, Microsoft, or any other organization and should be able to take their avatar and/or assets with them. 

Several standards are being researched to bring this into fruition. Here are a few instances: 

  • IEEE: Virtual Worlds – Standard for Systems Virtual Components Working Group (P1828) 
  • ISO: Information Technology – Media Context and control – Part 4: Virtual world object characteristics (ISO/IEC 23005-4:2011) 
  • Media Grid: Immersive Education Technology Group (IETG) 

Facebook holds the belief that the metaverse “wont be constructed overnight by a singular organization” and further made the claim that it will go on to collaborate with others. The social media heavyweight predicts that the metaverse idea to actualize in its entirety could take around a decade and a half. 

In a blog article, Facebook specified: “The metaverse holds the prospect to assist in unlocking access to new creative, social, and economic opportunities. And Europeans will be shaping it right from the get go.” 

Making investments in European Talent provides Facebook access to expertise from a broad array of cultures to make sure that the metaverse is more indicative of the real world in addition to accessing the area’s leading universities which include Oxford, Cambridge, Imperial College London, Copenhagen, and Amsterdam. 

“Beyond emergent tech talent, the EU also has a critical part to play in shaping the new rules of the internet. European policymakers are taking the helm in assisting embed European values such as free expression, privacy, transparency, and the individual rights of individuals into the everyday workings of the web,” explains Facebook. 

Facebook lately made investments $50 million (translating to 36.3 million pounds) in non-profits intending to assist in “building the metaverse responsibly.” 

James Morris-Manuel, EMEA Managing Director of Matterport, commented: “The new concentration makes sense for the organization, and a mix of emergent technologies will be a part of its continuous evolution. The metaverse could essentially alter the manner in which businesses and customers experience, interact and interface with, and analyse the physical environment of the constructed world. With the leveraging of digital twins – electronic replicas of the physical world, spaces can be transferred and visited in a digital, social space. 

“These will play a considerable part in teaching robots and virtual AI assistants to comprehend and interact with the intricacies of the physical world. From the evolving worlds of asset ownership to AI experiences that underpin our experiences, digital twins will be leveraged to develop the mirror and to assist businesses attain new heights.” 

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