The creator of the Macintosh iPod has warned that the supposed metaverse risks creating more savages and harming human connection.
According to Tony Fadell, the experience-based augmented metaverse removes the ability to “examine another individual’s face”.
“Assuming you put the innovation in between that human interaction, that’s where the harm comes in,” he said.
The metaverse is a computer-generated simulation world in which people are believed to create symbols of themselves in order to communicate with others in internet-based realities.
It will be used for entertainment, but also in places like businesses and music concerts, and is commonly accessed through an augmented reality headset.
Mark Zuckerberg, co-founder and CEO of Facebook, manages billions of dollars and hires huge numbers of workers to build a metaverse.
Last year, Facebook, which also owns Instagram, Whatsapp and Oculus, changed the name of its parent company to Meta.
“As you’re trying to develop social communication and social connection, when you can’t inspect the other person’s face, you can’t see their eyes, you don’t have humanistic ways of interacting,” Mr. Fadell said.
“They disintermediated, and by then you have the ability to spawn more savages, people who hide behind things and then use them to their potential advantage.”
“We really want to take back control of that human relationship,” he continued, “and we don’t need any more innovation between us.”
Tech juggernaut Microsoft and Epic Games, the makers of the PC game Fornite, are also investing heavily in the metaverse.
Microsoft is including 3D virtual symbols and conditions in its team visit architecture, which is expected to be available this year.
According to Zuckerberg, the metaverse is “a typed online site where, instead of just seeing things, you’re in it.”
He told The Verge that people shouldn’t survive “shiny little square shapes” like their phones.
“A lot of the meetings we have today, you’re looking at a web of faces on a screen. In the same way, it’s not how we process things.”
However, the ability of people to create and hide behind the symbols has sparked speculation and concerns about their safety in the metaverse.
“Would you choose to be a clean symbol instead of your true self?” said Ken Kutaragi, who conceived of Sony’s PlayStation gaming control center. That’s very similar to unidentified message board destinations.”
“We deprecate text-based commentary and online journals, we’ve had it with recordings and now we’ll have it with the metaverse,” Mr Fadell added.
Mr. Fadell spoke after Apple announced the discontinuation of the iPod Touch.
The little music player, which was released a long time ago, changed the way people listen to and store music. Mr. Fadell also worked on the Apple iPhone.
Mr. Fadell commented on the demise of the iPod, saying: “I’ve been in the innovation business long enough to realize the pace of innovation and the path of innovation goes on and on forever, therefore that It was an amazing time period for the iPod, yet that’s the business we’re in, tragically, so I’m used to that.”