Big Tech Wants You to Live in a Virtual World. Prepare for Real Problems. – The Wall Street Journal

Posted: September 1, 2021 at 12:37 am

Heard of the metaverse lately? It has been hard not to.

Facebook Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg mentioned techs latest buzzword 16 times on his companys most recent earnings call last month. The future of Facebook, he said, is a metaversea virtual environment where you can be physically present to hang out, play games, work and create.

But he didnt coin the term. Tech companies ranging from Intel Corp. to Unity Software talked up the metaverse last year. And Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella discussed the the enterprise metaverse in his companys earnings release last montha day before Facebooks call.

Nvidia has been an especially loud proponent of the idea. Last year, the company launched a platform called Omniverse for connecting 3-D worlds into a shared virtual universe. Chief Executive Jensen Huang used the companys largest annual conference in October to publicly credit Neal Stephensons 1992 science fiction novel Snow Crash as the original inspiration for the concept of a virtual reality successor to the Internet, noting the metaverse is coming.

Never mind that, in an interview for a 2017 article about his novel, Mr. Stephenson told Vanity Fair he was just making sht up. Decades after the book was published, technologys leaders are taking his ideas more seriously than ever.

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Big Tech Wants You to Live in a Virtual World. Prepare for Real Problems. - The Wall Street Journal

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