Dubai: Metaverse is the rebirth of the Internet, says Meta chief

'Everybody looks suspiciously about 20 years younger and several pounds lighter, that's the avatars that people tend to choose,' he says


Waheed Abbas

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Photo: Reuters file
Photo: Reuters file

Published: Tue 14 Feb 2023, 1:23 PM

Last updated: Tue 14 Feb 2023, 7:13 PM

Metaverse is the rebirth of the Internet, and people who are using it tend to choose avatars where they look much younger and slimmer, said Nick Clegg, President of Global Affairs, Meta.

Many big players such as Apple, Microsoft, ByteDance and others have announced plans to go big in the metaverse. In fact, some of the UAE entities have also forayed into the metaverse.

“For the last year, I have been holding my weekly meetings on Monday with my team around the world in the metaverse in a product called 'Workrooms'. Everybody looks suspiciously about 20 years younger and several pounds lighter, that's the avatars that people tend to choose,” he said during the World Government Summit on Tuesday.

“But once you have the headset on and you're talking to people, you feel you're breathing the same air in the same room because the audio technologies have advanced so much that as if someone is sitting to your right and left and a couple of meters across a large meeting a large conference table. I would urge those who have not experienced it to experience it. You will get an insight into not only what is possible now, but what will be possible in the future, as we move towards a new computing platform based on some immersive sense of presence, regardless of geographical distance,” he said.

He said the metaverse is not going to be built by one company but by a constellation of different companies that are doing the operating systems, the hardware, the experiences, the software and so forth. “It's like the rebirth of the Internet.”

“As things start developing, they will develop a momentum of their own, but I have to stress I think the all-singing, all-dancing, augmented reality future is many years away.”

He said that Meta is investing billions of dollars in its AI capacities for a whole range of things, including removing hate speech - which is now down to 0.02 per cent for every 10,000 bits of content that people might scroll on the Facebook newsfeed. “I wish it could be down to zero, but I think it's never gonna be zero. But it's been reduced by around 80 per cent… AI is an extremely powerful tool, going after bad content that we don't want on our platforms that users don't like to see, that advertisers don't want to see, either.”

Social media to foster family link

Nick Clegg said Facebook AI allows to rank content in a way that is most relevant and enjoyable to users.

“For those who use Facebook, every single one of your Facebook feeds are unique to you. It's like a sort of fingerprint. It's completely unique. You're going to see content from your children, grandchildren, nieces, nephews, and parents. That's the whole point of social media to foster those links between family and friends. All of that is powered already by AI.”


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