Published April 18, 2024 | Version 1
Conference proceeding Open

A Metaverse for the Good

  • 1. ROR icon University of Barcelona
  • 2. XR4Europe
  • 3. Reichman University
  • 4. ROR icon University of Alicante
  • 5. ROR icon Netherlands Organisation for Applied Scientific Research
  • 6. ROR icon Goldsmiths University of London
  • 7. ROR icon Hochschule Magdeburg-Stendal
  • 8. ROR icon Consorci Institut D'Investigacions Biomediques August Pi I Sunyer

Description

The metaverse concept is that of a large-scale social environment based on the convergence of virtual and physical reality. Participants can take part in the metaverse through virtual, augmented or mixed reality. They can carry out everyday activities together, ranging from entertainment through to education, business, politics, health or even legal proceedings. At this time the metaverse is more of an idea than a reality, but a number of nascent systems exist, and all the technological components, including solutions involving AI, are available to bring this idea into existence. The metaverse may have a profound impact on the way we live, bringing new beneficial ways of carrying out educational, social and economic activities, but may also introduce problems in the ethical, legal, business, psychological, political and social sphere. There will be opportunities and problems that at the moment we cannot envisage, since each new technology brings with it fundamental changes that are hard to foresee. The mobile phone in conjunction with the world wide web and social media have led to revolutionary changes in society including on the positive side deep connectivity between people, but on the other, a threat to democracy. The immersive nature of the metaverse will have the potential to enhance both the positive and negative impact by an order of magnitude. The EMRN is a research group that studies these various aspects of the metaverse concept. The 2024 EMRN conference features some of the EMRN members and their work, but we invited other stakeholders from academia, industry and policy to contribute to the discussion, and most contributions are not from EMRN members, showing the widespread interest in this topic. We invited submission of papers and posters, in order to foster new collaborations, and generate new ideas, moving towards a greater chance of envisaging the future. We also afforded the possibility of exciting and inspiring keynotes and panels to enable a multi stakeholder dialogue. By bringing research, industry and policy makers together to engage in an open discussion we hope to enhance the probability of a ‘metaverse for the good’. 

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