⚠️ Dear reader, the information above is not a game. Surveillance, social inequalities, information manipulation and absolute monopoly are just some of the dangers we face. I would also like to ask you a question, are you aware of the amount of personal information you share in each of your networks? I read you in the comments ⚠️
Being aware of Microsoft‘s attempt in the 90s, you don’t have to be very clever to visualise the future when talking about Metaverse and its ecosystem. It is a new opportunity for companies to take over everything, it is an obstacle course for big companies like the ones featured in the article and many others.
Of course, this is not an easy road and it is not enough to have money. Brilliant minds are needed, just as in an army it is not all brute force. A clear strategy must be on the table to win not only a battle, but also the war. And here we have several armies as well as several referees watching the board.
Let’s have a look :
Although not all of them are here, we do have the most powerful ones. In terms of market capitalisation and investment and development, these would be the most powerful. Of course there are other companies like Snap Inc. , Unity , Roblox and a long etcetera but I like to leave them aside because I call them “FACILITATORS”.
Enablers for me are those companies that are in charge of adding the technologies or applying them as the one who spices up a salad. The difference with the above is that they are creators of worlds, complete ecosystems that go far beyond a video game or an AR application.
TIM SWEENEY ” THE GOOD ” ( CEO Epic Games )
Of the 3 main characters in this story, Tim is undoubtedly the good guy. His vision as one of the main proponents of the Metaverse is a positive one. Sweeney has expressed his belief that the Metaverse will be an open and decentralised platform, where users will own their own data and experiences. He also emphasised the importance of interoperability, i.e. the ability for users to move freely between different virtual worlds.
In his view, the Metaverse could be used to improve education, healthcare and communication. He also believes it could create new economic opportunities for creators and developers.
But as everyone is the master of their own words, I have been able to collect some of his key phrases over the last two years:
- In 2021, Sweeney said that the Metaverse was “the natural evolution of the Internet”.
- In 2022, Sweeney said that the metaverse will be an open, decentralised platform, that interoperability is essential and that it will have a profound impact on society. For starters, it will be open to collaboration, blockchain and the creation of large ecosystems. We will see over time what is true in all of this, but it has also taken some steps that would confirm all of this:
The Walt Disney Company: The US entertainment company announced in November 2022 an agreement with Epic Games to create metaverse experiences for its intellectual properties, such as Marvel and Star Wars.
Nike: The sportswear company announced in February 2023 a partnership with Epic Games to create metaverse experiences for its products. Nike was joined by Adidas in March 2023 as well as Prada in April.
However, there is one thing that I found captivating. When we were talking about the companies that were “hitting the Metaverse hard”, remember that in addition to E.G. there was also Tencent. So watch out:
By extracting data from Epic Games, I have been able to find that Tencent is not only one of its investors, but also one of its initial funders. In fact, 40% of Epic Games’ shares are directly owned by Tencent.
We will see how this affects the great Sweeney as Tencent has two sides. On the one hand it is committed to interoperability, making agreements with another of the big rivals in the ecosystem, Microsoft, but on the other hand it also has agreements with centralised platforms such as VRChat Inc. so we can consider Tencent to be a top-level strategist.
SATYA NADELLA ” THE UGLY ” ( CEO Microsoft )
Satya is a peculiar guy. In 2021 he divested himself of half of his Microsoft shares to further safeguard his personal finances. He has done this before in smaller amounts, but this was the one that attracted the most attention. Apparently, there is a consensus of the super-rich who are selling shares to diversify and protect their wealth.
As far as Metaverse is concerned, our dear Satya has a double vision of things. If at Microsoft he is betting on the company at the same time as he is selling shares, it is exactly the same with Metaverse. He believes that interoperability is a breakthrough while relying on centralised development. Nadella said the company is open to both approaches. The company believes that the ecosystem should be a set of platforms that complement each other.
Now, I am sure you will understand the picture I have generated with A.I..
In addition to this, Satya has deals with the other two sides of this story. He’s working with Epic Games on Minecraft and he’s working with Meta in terms of virtual reality through Horizon Worlds. What is true is that the shareholder base did not take kindly to its share sale, as many saw it as an act of hypocrisy.
What is also undeniable is Microsoft’s contribution to the ecosystem and if we look at it from different points:
On the one hand we have 🔸Microsoft Mesh🔸 , where you can meet with your own avatar. We can categorize MM as ” 🔷Social category🔷 “.
On the other there is 🔸Minecraft🔸 , a virtual world in the form of a video game that is well known especially among young audiences. Here, game experiences and ecosystems are created. Let’s categorise it as ” 🔷Interactive ecosystem🔷 “.
There are also the famous 🔸Holololens🔸 , a mixed reality viewer to interact with these environments. This will be ” 🔷 Immersive gadgets🔷 “.
And last and not least, we have 🔸Azure🔸 where all the previous ecosystems are deposited and hosted in the cloud . We will call this ” 🔷Database or architect🔷 “.
So, we have the social part, the entertainment part, immersive tools and a bank to have all of the above available, secure, scalable and manageable. If you do not see the ecosystem, the tree prevents you from seeing the forest.
MARK ZUCKERBERG” THE BAD ” ( CEO Meta )
I have to admit, I was too lazy to get to Mark. Whenever I think of him I see different similar characters from movies running through my head. He reminds me of Agent Smith from The Matrix, Sorrento from Ready Player One and for the even more nostalgic, he also reminds me of Skynet from Terminator.
For better or worse, Mark is a source of data mining. I also wanted to ask the AI which villains he would compare M.Z. to in relation to the latest privacy issues he has had with users in different governments. This was his answer :
He could be compared to:
Big Brother from George Orwell’s novel 1984. Big Brother is a totalitarian leader who uses surveillance technology to control every aspect of his citizens’ lives.
The CEO from the film Her. The CEO is an entrepreneur who develops an artificially intelligent operating system that becomes so advanced that it begins to control people’s lives.
The Architect in the Matrix trilogy. The Architect is an artificial intelligence that created the Matrix, a simulated world in which people live without knowing they are being controlled.
It seems that the AI’s vision is not too far from mine. But personal assumptions aside, let’s get down to what is really on paper, knowing that privacy and identity is something important or should be important to each of us.
Cambridge Analytica scandal: In 2018, it was revealed that the data analytics company Cambridge Analytica had collected data from millions of Facebook users without their consent. This data was used to create psychological profiles of users, which were then sold to politicians and companies.
FTC fine: In 2019, the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) fined Facebook $5 billion for violating users’ privacy. The FTC accused Facebook of misleading users about how it collected and used their data.
EU complaint: In 2020, the European Commission filed a complaint against Facebook for violating EU data protection rules. The complaint accuses Facebook of collecting users’ data without their consent and using it for advertising purposes.
AEPD complaint: In 2021, the Spanish Data Protection Agency (AEPD) fined Facebook €600,000 for violating Spain’s data protection regulations. The AEPD accused Facebook of failing to adequately inform users about how it collected and used their data.
Mark Zuckerberg has appeared before the US Congress to explain the massive data leak that affected 87 million users, whose information fell into the hands of Cambridge Analytica, a company linked to Trump and Brexit.
In this video above we can see a slippery M.Z. in response to Congress’ question. Basically and in other words he implies that people accept that their data is sold because they simply accept the terms. Here too, many of us are at fault, as we accept the terms without even stopping to read them.
The most recent controversy concerns the social network Threads, which is banned in some places.
But what exactly does Mark collect for his new network ?
🔵 Personal information: first name, last name, date of birth, gender, location, email, phone number, profile picture, biography, etc.
🔵 Usage data: browsing history, clicks, purchases, etc. Information about the user’s device, such as model, operating system version and IP address. Information about the use of the application, such as the time the user spends in the application and the functions used.
🔵 Location data: Location history, GPS, etc.
🔵 Interaction data: Interactions with ads, content, etc. Interactions with other users, such as messages, comments and reactions.
Sensitive data that Threads collects:
🔴 Health information: Threads may collect information about the user’s health, such as physical activity and dietary habits.
🔴 Sexual orientation information: Threads may collect information about the user’s sexual orientation.
🔴 Information about religious or political beliefs: Threads may collect information about your religious or political beliefs.
The points indicated in blue are those that are normally collected in any social network. Now, the points in red are of course much more personal and that the user himself should refuse to provide out of respect for his own identity and privacy.
I’ve already told you what Mark’s ambition is, now let’s look at what he wants for the Metaverse and what he is doing to create it.
We know that Meta has lost close to $21 billion on its Metaverse investment and the Reality Labs division posted a $4 billion operating loss in the first quarter of 2023. Despite all this, and the criticism from numerous analysts that the investment is too large for a technology that is still “in its infancy”, Mark has continued to defend his position on the investment. Mark has continued to defend his position and his bet.
And he has started with :
🔹 Horizon Worlds: A social virtual reality platform that allows people to meet, play and create content.
🔹 Horizon Workrooms: A virtual reality platform for meetings and collaboration.
🔹 Horizon Home: A personal virtual space that users can use to personalise their experience in the metaverse.
🔹 Meta Quest 2: A consumer virtual reality headset that Meta sells to access Horizon Worlds and other products and services.
🔹 Metaverse SDK: A set of development tools that enables developers to create experiences
But everyone knows this. What you won’t know so well is what I bring you now. Maybe you know it, maybe you don’t, but it’s interesting and for things like this I recommend you to subscribe to my newsletter, because I get useful information for all the people who read me.
⬜️LLAMA 2 PROJECT⬜️
The Llama 2 project is an open source language model developed by Meta. It is a large-scale transformer model with 70 billion parameters, making it one of the largest language models in the world.
Llama 2 is trained on a massive dataset of text and code, allowing it to generate text, translate languages, write different types of creative content and answer questions in an informative way.
CM3leon is a generative artificial intelligence language model, which means that it is able to generate new content from the commands we give it. For example, you can generate images from text and also the opposite, generate text from images.
The other big advantage of this language is that it promises to use five times less computational resources than other artificial intelligence systems. In other words, it is more efficient for those who choose to use it, which makes it a promising tool.
AudioCraft is an AI-based tool that relies on three language models: AudioGen, EnCodec and MusicGen. The idea is that we can get audio tracks by just a text description of what we want to listen to. The tool works for music as well as for sounds, compression and generation.
Of the three models, MusicGen is the one that has been specifically trained to generate music from text. Thousands of music tracks licensed by Meta have been used for this purpose.
SeamlessM4T, the first all-in-one multimodal and multilingual AI translation model that enables people to communicate effortlessly through speech and text in different languages.
It is based on Massively Multilingual Speech, Meta’s framework that offers speech recognition, language identification and speech synthesis technology in more than 1,100 languages.
-Speech recognition in almost 100 languages
-Speech-to-text translation for nearly 100 input and output languages
-Speech-to-speech translation, supporting nearly 100 input and 36 (including English) output languages
-Text-to-text translation for nearly 100 languages
-Text-to-speech translation, supporting nearly 100 input and 35 (including English) output languages
US technology and social media conglomerate Meta has developed an artificial intelligence (AI) tool that can predict the structure of hundreds of millions of proteins.
ESMFold, unveiled in November 2022, has a database of 617 million possible proteins from microorganisms, such as bacteria and viruses, that have not yet been characterised, which will allow researchers and scientists to deepen their research and thus accelerate the discovery of new drugs.
This AI is based on language models used in text prediction, but ESMFold uses it to autocomplete protein sequences and reveal their 3D structure.
In case you have stopped to think about what this is all about, I will tell you that all this is Metaverse. Indeed, perhaps the little that was told to convince you that the Metaverse was virtual worlds was not entirely true, or perhaps it is, if we take virtual worlds as environments or ecosystems where other technologies such as AI have a place.
Anyway… in the next articles we will continue to learn more about the Metaverse and its varied definitions.
I hope you liked this article and I’ll see you in the next one.