Is the Metaverse a prelude to an Escapist Universe (think SAO, Ready Player One)

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Leotardo DaVinci

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Do you believe that Facebook's Metaverse is testing the waters for the development of a complete neural-connected device that can alter your reality into an escapist paradise? I for one believe this is inevitable, but the nature of such a 'paradise' would go as follows:
1. People treat it like the Wild West. Lots of fun, new things to explore and social interactions flourish.
2. Regulation comes in and people go to prison for crimes committed in the new world.
3. Addiction and overall societal disconnect where going off the new world is relegated for food, sleep and "work".
4. Whole societal change where people only treat their physical bodies as constructs that allow them to connect to the new world.

I know this sounds dystopian as fuck, but you've gotta realise that when the Internet came around, new forms of internet addiction sprung up and heaps of people (even normies) spend every moment of their waking lives connected, and only really use their time outside online internet connections for "travel" or meeting up with friends who they've been talking to online for days.

I guess the question is:
Is this even possible (medically) and how long into the future (pending a total societal collapse) would this be created/adopted by the masses?
 

Vecr

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No, it's way too hard and expensive on a logistical and personal level. Also not good for your eyes, VR goggles use optical trickery to make the screens appear not to be smooshed up into your face, but that optical distance is constant and does not give the lenses in your eyes exercise.
 

Drain Todger

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No, it's way too hard and expensive on a logistical and personal level. Also not good for your eyes, VR goggles use optical trickery to make the screens appear not to be smooshed up into your face, but that optical distance is constant and does not give the lenses in your eyes exercise.
They wouldn't use VR goggles. For widespread and continuous use, such tech would definitely require a brain-computer interface, pumping the visuals and sensations directly into the user's head. How close are they to actually doing it? Surprisingly close.


I should also mention that BCIs capable of jacking someone's senses are not only capable of mind control, they're basically the perfect torture device. A hijacked brain-computer interface could very easily be used to give someone the sensation of burning to death and/or being repeatedly dismembered and regenerated for hours on end, without affecting the physical condition of the victim. Not only could they inflict the sensations associated with extreme trauma, they could remove mental defenses against them, by hyper-activating parts of the brain associated with anxiety, for instance. BCIs should always be treated with suspicion.
 

Dom Cruise

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It's inevitable by this point, any hope of this being a good world has been sunk by Woke over the last decade, stick a fork in humanity, we're done, we're at our wits end as a species.

The only hope now might be Matrix style VR that lets us live out our fantasies.


They wouldn't use VR goggles. For widespread and continuous use, such tech would definitely require a brain-computer interface, pumping the visuals and sensations directly into the user's head. How close are they to actually doing it? Surprisingly close.


I should also mention that BCIs capable of jacking someone's senses are not only capable of mind control, they're basically the perfect torture device. A hijacked brain-computer interface could very easily be used to give someone the sensation of burning to death and/or being repeatedly dismembered and regenerated for hours on end, without affecting the physical condition of the victim. Not only could they inflict the sensations associated with extreme trauma, they could remove mental defenses against them, by hyper-activating parts of the brain associated with anxiety, for instance. BCIs should always be treated with suspicion.
Matrix style VR is simultaneously exciting and terrifying.

Imagine being able to have sex with a group of beautiful women and it feels totally real, but then imagine feeling like you're burning in hell and it also feels totally real.
 

DDBCAE CBAADCBE

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I don’t think brain computer interfaces on that level will ever be a thing. It just opens up too many new avenues for malicious hackers to begin messing with people in new and horrific ways. You know, Ghost In The Shell was a good movie and all but it really does a good job of laying out exactly why an interface on that level just really isn’t safe for anyone.
 

Leotardo DaVinci

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Imagine being able to have sex with a group of beautiful women and it feels totally real, but then imagine feeling like you're burning in hell and it also feels totally real.
And all of this is now possible because it's a simulated reality. Imagine the prison sentencing for the worst capital offences.

A life sentence or hell, even a death sentence will be a tame punishment. Because our experience of time is relative based on our own internal clock (this is why you feel no passage of time under anaesthetic), you could punish someone for hundreds of years to them, when in reality it was mere seconds.

I wouldn't be surprised if they found a way to dilate time (like how dreams work). Where years in the social world were minutes in real life, so that people could live dozens of lives over before their physical form expires. This is some absolutely hypothetical dystopian tier stuff that has been covered in literature since the 20s, but it's still interesting to discuss nonetheless.
 

Audit

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Finally, Jeff Bezos will provide us with the ultimate method to implement universal basic income and keep the undesirables out of sight. Picture this, free VR brain implants for anyone. You just go into a nice warehouse, the technicians plug you into a machine, insert some tubes into your body, and you can spend your entire life playing videos games or w/e in a VR simulation. Once we factor in the economy of scale, we'll be able to impound a good chunk of the poors in their own little bliss prison on a surprisingly low budget. Hell, if the bleeding heart liberals get too antsy about "healthcare" for the NEETs, we can just throw in some autoexercise equipment to force their bodies to exercise while they game and eventually work toward the ultimate brain-in-a-jar goal for the unemployable.

With this solution, we'll finally be able to lower the price of real estate to reasonable levels without communism or genocide. This was the goal, right?
 

Mountain Clansman

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This is what I would call the lazy transhuman future. It's the one where no quasi-miraculous incident stops humanity from limply flowing down the deterministic evolutionary stream we're caught in. We just blindly apply technology according to our intrinsic ape instincts with no regard for the future or outside perspectives, as we have done so far. It's what happens if we both fail to create a planned society and also fail to go suddenly extinct due to disasters. This shit is already happening in a sense, but if you mean like total mediation of all facets of human life via digital/cybernetic technology, it's going to take a century just to achieve it logistically, never mind cultural adoption.

We're prolly just as likely to use genetic engineering to create a planned society instead.
 

ToroidalBoat

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One time there was a place that had a real fish tank.

After awhile, it was replaced with a lame screen showing a video of a fish tank.

It seems like an analogy of what's going on. It could be that the powers that shouldn't be are trying to "cancel real life" or make it suck more, which could push people into accepting "virtual reality" as a substitute - where the tyrants could have even more control.
 

Leotardo DaVinci

Clothes are meant to be worn!
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This is what I would call the lazy transhuman future. It's the one where no quasi-miraculous incident stops humanity from limply flowing down the deterministic evolutionary stream we're caught in. We just blindly apply technology according to our intrinsic ape instincts with no regard for the future or outside perspectives, as we have done so far. It's what happens if we both fail to create a planned society and also fail to go suddenly extinct due to disasters. This shit is already happening in a sense, but if you mean like total mediation of all facets of human life via digital/cybernetic technology, it's going to take a century just to achieve it logistically, never mind cultural adoption.

We're prolly just as likely to use genetic engineering to create a planned society instead.
Absolutely agreed. No matter how complex our society gets, 95% of the population only participate to serve their own primal desires. I'd say 2-3% of the population are able to actual function as regular humans (above 115-125iq) who actually work/live for greater reasons than food, sex and entertainment.
 

Drag-on Knight 91873

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I don’t think brain computer interfaces on that level will ever be a thing. It just opens up too many new avenues for malicious hackers to begin messing with people in new and horrific ways. You know, Ghost In The Shell was a good movie and all but it really does a good job of laying out exactly why an interface on that level just really isn’t safe for anyone.
It's not my fault Zuckerberg is a lame E-brain.


Anyways, businesses and governments have a hard time getting people to take a questionable flu shot. They're going to have a harder time sticking brain implants into skulls.
 

Dandelion Eyes

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I think Metaverse in its current implementation is a fucking meme, it looks like VRchat for boomers or a lamer version of Second Life in VR(yeah, imagine being lamer than Second Life).
I think consumer-grade brain-computer interface will eventually arrive, but not to thanks to the Zucc's Metaverse. Will it reach the Internet's level of adoption, though? If it's gonna be done through an brain implant, I doubt it. I don't think most people would be willing to go through an invasive surgery for that. Or agree to expose their brains in such a way.
 

SCSI

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I'm inclined to think it's medically possible, based on papers I've read and the sheer amount of R&D $$$$ backing trying to solve the problems with it, but I'm not optimistic about either the timeframe or the breadth of adoption outside of the military, enterprise, and extreme enthusiasts, even once a non-invasive BCI is mature (implant-only interfaces are DOA outside of therapeutic scenarios like correcting blindness or interfacing with prosthetics for amputees, IMO -- the regulatory barriers would be intense, and the legal liability for such devices and the surgery to install them... I can hear every BigLaw firm in North America creaming their pants at the prospect of getting a piece of that litigation). I'll pick out two specific examples for why I think this way.

First, the technical difficulty. I've been following the development of artificial vision since some of the early experimental successes in the late 90s. It was amazing -- for the first time, scientists had managed to attach a device to the optic nerve and transmit an intelligible visual signal to the brain. The test subjects were delighted to be able to see blurred, shadowy distinctions of light and dark, and perceive hazy movement. The most recent update on this kind of research I saw, from within the last year or two had advanced all the way to the point where the subject could see... something that vaguely resembled a character sprite from an 8bit Nintendo game... In flat white, without any details within the frame, on a blank black background. I'm sure things will hit an inflection point with writing visual data to the brain like all other forms of computing have, where the rate of progress suddenly jumps aggressively, but I think it's still decades out, if the last 20 years of progress towards ameliorating a severe medical condition has been any indicator. (Depressing, I really do want cybernetic eyes so very badly. Sigh.)

Second, the issue of getting the public to adopt it widespread. The typical consumer does NOT want to wear gadgets on their head. Period. The Victorian-era stereoscope died out, red-blue anaglyph 3D glasses for movies were a short-lived fad in the 50s and 60s, more sophisticated 3D glasses for film in the last 10 years largely failed after a brief resurgence, Google Glass bombed hard, Bluetooth earphone users were literal memes, and, as much as I enjoy it, I'll admit that headset-based VR is pretty much an enthusiast-only affair. If a BCI requires any kind of wearable accessory on the user's head, especially if its expensive and delicate, you're instantly going to lose a huge chunk of the potential userbase. Sure, consumer preferences can and do change, but this particular point seems to be incredibly persistent and has a 140 year track record. I don't see it changing any time soon. Maybe once a true Matrix-tier experience is available it'll be enough to get people over this aversion, but if there's no userbase willing to fork out money, who's going to sink the boatloads of cash into developing high-fidelity content to take advantage of the tech that could deliver it? Current-gen VR already has a problem with this chicken and egg dilemma.

Taking both those examples together, and handwaving the amount of compute that would be needed to actually run "I Can't Believe It's Not Real Life!(TM)" level content, I can't see this kind of tech reaching widespread adoption any time before 2050, if that.