Voices Pushpesh Pant Ravi Shankar Devapriya Roy Shilpi Madan Amar Bhushan Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev Buffet MAGAZINE People Wellness Books Food Art & Culture Entertainment NEW DELHI november 28 2021 SUNDAY PAGES 12 the term Decoded Metaverse is Coming The next phase of the internet is approaching fast, which is taking cyberspace by storm. The metaverse, simply put, is the tech world’s parallel to the real world. The Future is Here Existing in this alternate reality is akin to living inside the internet. It opens the door to a new world of entertainment and economy, and throws up challenges for mankind. R By Abdalla Kablan ecently there has been a lot of discussion around singularity and whether we soon will be entering a phase where artificial general intelligence will become reality However, before we delve deep into the . philosophical and ethical implications of singularity, we have to understand what it really is, its actual limitations and why it may happen in a way that is different than anticipated. Singularity is the notion that the exponential acceleration of technological development will lead to a situation where artificial intelligence supersedes human intelligence and will eventually escape our control. Some even predict catastrophic consequences for humanity where machines will become the dominant species on this planet. This may seem a bit far-fetched, at least for the near future, given that advancements in hardware development and robotics are not catching up with software when it comes to artificial general intelligence. However, one can argue that the recent hype and developments surrounding the metaverse will definitely open the door to the rethink of Singularity But what is the metaverse, and why is it such a big deal? . The Next Internet Recent market analysis has estimated that the metaverse market opportunity could be around $800 billion by 2024. This could be seen as an expected meteoric rise for the metaverse, given such an estimated market size; however, the question that many people are asking is, what is the metaverse? Presently there isn’t a single , definition; if you think about today’s internet as a virtual two-dimensional (2D) space where you can produce and share content, create value and connect with anyone anywhere, then the metaverse may be thought of as a virtual three-dimensional (3D) space where you can do everything that you can do in today's internet while being fully immersed—through virtual reality (VR)/ augmented reality (AR)—in that space exactly as you would be in the real world, but in a virtual realistic graphics-driven manner while being able to interact, connect, transact and create with others. Simply put, existing in Oxford dictionaries define it as a virtual-reality space in which users can interact with a computer-generated environment and other users. Metaverse, a portmanteau of meta (meaning transcendent), and verse (from universe), will allow a greater overlap of our physical and digital spaces. In these alternate digital realities, people can work, play, and socialise. Imagine, instead of attending a music concert physically, your digital avatar checks into it and derives all the joys associated with the event. Till now, mostly restricted to the gaming world, in the metaverse of the future, people will The access points besides devices lead their lives just as in the real world. You would involve augmented will be able to teleport yourself reality (AR) and virtual for a vacation or reality (VR) technologies. AR, a work meeting which can be accessed using a without moving smartphone or computer, involves in reality. overlaying visual elements, sound, and other sensory stimuli onto a real-world setting to enhance the user experience. the metaverse is the equiva- lent of living inside the internet. This opens the possibility of the creation of a new world, a new economy and new possibilities. However, unlike the internet, the VR immersion would trick the human brain into releasing the same chemicals (endorphins, serotonin, dopamine) the same way as you would in the real world, which will make it Though still at least a decade or two away, in the metaverse you will eat, shop, and work and a new class of economy will surface which has already taken shape in the form of cryptocurrencies and NFTs (non-fungible tokens) more natural and more realistic for humans to inhabit than the internet. It’s a virtual environment where you can interact with people in a digital space. It is going inside the internet instead of just looking at it! Today some may think that , VR is for video gamers; but historically games have , always preceded mainstream adoption. Space Invaders and Super Mario were played way before we started using Google. The same applies to VR: it is simply a gateway into the metaverse. What Makes the Metaverse Unique? To elaborate on this point more, if we think about it, we have had mainframe computers that evolved to personal computers, which then evolved to mobile devices. In the case of the metaverse however, the leap or the iteration does not necessarily go to a faster device. Instead, to virtual simulations of virtual worlds and virtual environments where through VR and AR, we can finally make it possible to buy things in the real world through these environments. But, in particular, also to buy things that just happen to exist in these virtual environments. Connecting computers to the internet has catapulted them to mainstream use and Turn to page 2 Recent market analysis has estimated that the metaverse market opportunity could be around $800 billion by 2024. This could be seen as an expected meteoric rise for the metaverse, given such an estimated market size.
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